Elon Musk said that Twitter will add a “true account status” feature to provide extensive information about it to users. This will allow you to see if any restrictions apply to the account, and if so, the reasons for this and how to appeal.
Twitter has never operated in a transparent way, which most of its active users know well. Anyone who has spent some time daily on the platform and took an active part in various discussions has at least heard of—and in many cases experienced personally—instances when the activity of certain user accounts seemed to be hidden.
Accounts received so-called “shadowbans,” which limited their display to other Twitter users. This could include: Search Suggestion Ban, Search Ban, Ghost Ban, and Reply Doboosting. Sometimes only one type of “punishment” was imposed on the account, sometimes several at once. However, Twitter has denied that it has “shadowbans” and that it enforced them on certain accounts. In fact, some users have simply been put into so-called “Twitter prisons” without explanation or acknowledgment that they have been put there. It was a truly powerful tool, which, unfortunately, was used to restrict freedom of speech at the personal discretion of individual platform employees.
Recently, the new owner of Twitter, Elon Musk, and his team handed over for review and publication the second part of the Twitter documents, which shed light on the operation of the platform before the change of ownership. Bari Weiss, who received them, published important information confirming the worst fears. Twitter indeed did suppress the voices of those it wanted to. Weiss talked about Twitter shadowbans, or as the company called it “visibility filtering” of several accounts. Screenshots of these several specific accounts showed that the platform team blocked their search, limited the reach of their particular tweets, blocked selected users' tweets from appearing on the trending page, etc. In addition, team members had access to any account activity, including the ability to read their private messages.
THREAD: THE TWITTER FILES PART TWO.— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) December 9, 2022
TWITTER’S SECRET BLACKLISTS.
Musk has become the first person to care about true free speech on Twitter, and with all his efforts, he strives to bring it. It is worth bearing in mind that Musk has always said that freedom of speech should be within the law. Obviously, there are different people who have different views and, for example, a tweet that calls for violence will not get wide visibility. It is likely that Twitter's content moderation system will continue to operate, albeit under new rules. In this regard, there are legitimate fears that accounts will again receive shadowbans.
However, Musk explained that Twitter is working on a software update that will add the ability to get account status information that will show whether or not tweets of accounts have been shadowbanned, the reason for the ban, and how a user can appeal the ban. The introduction of this feature will give the transparency that Twitter has always lacked, and will help users improve their communication on the platform by improving themselves and avoiding behavior prohibited by the rules. This will inevitably lead to Twitter becoming a comfortable place for dialogue, discussion, learning, entertainment, and more.
Twitter is working on a software update that will show your true account status, so you know clearly if you’ve been shadowbanned, the reason why and how to appeal— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 9, 2022
© 2022, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.