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Twitter has admitted to shadowbanning a tweet by The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis in order to “keep people safe.”
Tweeting a passage from former FBI attorney Lisa Page’s Congressional testimony discussing the FBI’s rush to find connections between the Trump campaign and Russia, Davis pointed out the irony of Hillary Clinton’s campaign employing former UK spy Christopher Steele, a foreign national, “working with Russians to obtain damaging information about Donald Trump.”
Of note, the dossier Steele compiled which was subsequently used to obtain a warrant to spy on a Trump adviser (and later smear Trump) relied on a “senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure” and “a former top level intelligence officer still active in the Kremlin,” according to Vanity Fair.
Following his March 12 tweet, Davis wondered if Twitter was experimenting with “shadow bans” – as he could only see his tweet if he was logged in, meaning nobody else could see it.
Is @Twitter experimenting with shadow bans by deleting tweets so others can’t see them, but keeping them visible to you while you’re logged in? I had to re-publish my original Lisa Page transcript tweet because it was disappeared to everyone but me. pic.twitter.com/RugtpK2MYn
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) March 12, 2019
Six days later, Twitter confirmed with Davis that they had deliberately shadow-banned his tweet in order to “keep people safe.”
Titter claimed in its e-mail to me that it “mistakenly remove[d]” a completely anodyne tweet about public congressional testimony, but didn’t explain why it left the tweet–and metrics showing no engagement–visible to me when logged in. Is conning users a bug, or a feature? pic.twitter.com/bqtc8Klcam
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) March 18, 2019