Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Milo Yiannopoulos Reports that Twitter is Now "Shadowbanning" Politically Incorrect Users

Big Brother (Jack Dorsey of Twitter) is Shadowbanning you

If I hear one more time that this sort of thing is nothing to be concerned about because Twitter is a private company and it can do what it wants blah blah blah, I'll pull an epic Glenn Beck scream.

Private censorship (or "censorship" if you like) can be just as toxic and insidious as government censorship. Indeed, these days it is arguably more so, given that worldwide media and communications are largely private and mainly controlled by only a few companies.

Of course, these companies are also often actively collaborating with governments.

What's worse, having your local library refuse to stock D.H. Lawrence or having political opposition banned (or "shadowbanned") in many countries by a quasi-alliance between the ruling political parties and a few large media companies?

Breitbart Tech correspondent Milos Yiannopoulos (who himself has recently been the subject of Twitter harassment) suggests that concerned parties build their own unbiased platforms. That's a great plan in theory. Unfortunately, it may be about as possible now as concerned parties building their own governments.

Welcome to the End of History, guys.

By Milo Yiannopoulos, Breitbart, 16 February, 2016:
Rumours that Twitter has begun ‘shadowbanning’ politically inconvenient users have been confirmed by a source inside the company, who spoke exclusively to Breitbart Tech. His claim was corroborated by a senior editor at a major publisher. 
According to the source, Twitter maintains a ‘whitelist’ of favoured Twitter accounts and a ‘blacklist’ of unfavoured accounts. Accounts on the whitelist are prioritised in search results, even if they’re not the most popular among users. Meanwhile, accounts on the blacklist have their posts hidden from both search results and other users’ timelines. 
Our source was backed up by a senior editor at a major digital publisher, who told Breitbart that Twitter told him it deliberately whitelists and blacklists users. He added that he was afraid of the site’s power, noting that his tweets could disappear from users’ timelines if he got on the wrong side of the company. 
Shadowbanning, sometimes known as “Stealth Banning” or “Hell Banning,” is commonly used by online community managers to block content posted by spammers. Instead of banning a user directly (which would alert the spammer to their status, prompting them to create a new account), their content is merely hidden from public view. 
For site owners, the ideal shadowban is when a user never realizes he’s been shadowbanned. 
However, Twitter isn’t merely targeting spammers. For weeks, users have been reporting that tweets from populist conservatives, members of the alternative right, cultural libertarians, and other anti-PC dissidents have disappeared from their timelines. 
Among the users complaining of shadowbans are sci-fi author and alt-right figurehead Vox Day, geek culture blogger “Daddy Warpig,” and the popular pro-Trump account Ricky Vaughn. League of Gamers founder and former World of Warcraft team lead Mark Kern, as well as adult actress and anti-censorship activist Mercedes Carrera, have also reported that their tweets are not appearing on the timelines of their followers. 
The pattern of shadowban reports, which skews towards the alt-right, the populist right, and cultural libertarians, follows close on the heels of Twitter’s establishment of a “Trust and Safety Council” packed with left-wing advocacy groups, as well as Islamic research centre the Wahid Institute. 
It also follows my prediction that Twitter would use its influence to interfere in the 2016 presidential election by muffling conservative voices on the platform. 
For close to a year now, Breitbart has covered Twitter’s march towards political censorship. In May 2015 Allum Bokhari reported that the site had begun to experiment with shadowbans, ostensibly to protect users from abuse. Then, as now, it was suspected that “protecting users from abuse” was an excuse to implement a system that would later be used for political censorship. 
With shadowbans now confirmed by an inside source, there is little room for doubt that the platform is intent on silencing conservatives. Furthermore, it has demonstrated a complete lack of regard for transparency, concealing its shadowbanning system from users and hiding its political bias behind a veneer of opposition to online abuse. (In reality, the site turns a blind eye to abuse from left-wingers.) 
Users in search of a transparent, politically unbiased platform will soon have to find — or build — an alternative.


  1. BACK IN THE EUSSR - (parody of The Beatles' "Back in the USSR")

    Oh, flew in from Liberia Beach D.O.A.
    Got to a hospital bed last night
    All the way this ebola bug was in my pee
    Man I was a dreadful sight

    I'm back in the E.U.S.S.R.
    You don't know how lucky you are... boy
    Back in the EU, back in the EU,
    Back in the E.U.S.S.R.

    Those great debts really knock me out
    They kick the West's behind
    Angela's blubbery cellulite is hanging out
    That EU troika is always on my, my, my mind

    Take me to Carpathian Mountains way down South
    Let me foreclose your daddy's farm
    All the way the bankers' hands are reaching out
    Come and grease your comrade's palm

    I'm back in the E.U.S.S.R.
    You don't know how lucky you are... boy
    Back in the EU, back in the EU,
    Back in the E.U.S.S.R.

  2. Replies
    1. Yeah. Actually I got more retweets on the tweet for this post than any recent tweet. And of course, as we all know, Milo Yiannopoulos is everywhere. These censors are tricky and subtle. :)