Video Leak: Former Twitter Software Tech Says Platform Secretly ‘Shadowbans’ Users for ‘Ultimate Control’

By Danny C. | DCPeriodical | 12/11/19 |

James O’Keefe of Project Veritas — the same man who brought us the leaked video of news anchor Amy Robach discussing ABC’s efforts to cover up the Jeffrey Epstein story for years — has brought us a new piece of information leaked from a former Twitter software engineer.

Secretly being taped via cellphone, Abhinov Vadrevu spells out a secret technique used by Twitter to suppress users’ posts called ‘shadowbanning.’

‘The idea of a shadowban is that you ban someone, but they don’t know they’ve been banned,’ the former Twitter employee divulged. ‘They just think that no one is engaging with their content, when in reality, no one is seeing it.’

According to Vadrevu, shadowbanning is just one technique Twitter uses to ‘have ultimate control’ over what information people are allowed to see.

The problem here, of course, is that the right to freedom of speech and the right to free information are being infringed upon. Twitter is choosing what people can and can’t say, and what people can and can’t hear — and it’s more often than not politically motivated. Twitter, it seems, is acting as an establishment gatekeeper.

Now, the argument could be made that it is their platform, so why shouldn’t they be able to censor users? Well, let’s think about that for an second.

Imagine if your phone company worked the same way. They decide they don’t like the opinions you’re expressing during your communications so they secretly make it so your outbound calls just ring and ring, while the people you’re calling are none the wiser; meanwhile when people try to call you the same thing happens. They just isolate you and render you incommunicado.

Of course, phone companies don’t do that. The reason is because they aren’t publishers. They provide a platform to communicate on and don’t want to be liable for what people say and do on it.

Twitter is similar. They don’t want to be liable for what their users are posting on their network, and therefore don’t want to consider themselves publishers — though that’s what they are. They instead want to be considered a social platform where the users are solely responsible for what they say and do.

The trouble is, by deciding what can and can’t be said or shown on their platform, especially based on political views, the network is behaving like a publisher and needs to take responsibility as one.

Twitter is a private company. It is not bound in any way to abiding by the principles of free speech or protecting speech covered by the First Amendment. But as it increasingly engages in inconsistent, seemingly politically motivated bans and suspensions, the company is slowly wading away from being a platform with a fixed set of rules and heading toward taking on the legal liabilities of being a publisher.

Social media companies are exempt from the enforcement of libel laws thanks to the Communications Decency Act. Because social media platforms are meant to be open forums with extremely rigid, limited, and consistent rules to moderate “offensive” content, they aren’t liable for what users post on their sites.

However, as Twitter’s staff begin to act like editors more than technological facillitators, they run the risk of losing the legal protection of neutrality. They face the same risks that newspapers and traditional media companies take when they publish reader-submitted material.

Washington Examiner.

In July 2018, reports came out showing that Twitter had banned an astonishing 70 million accounts belonging to pro-Trump users.

Amid one of the biggest social media censorship purges in history, Twitter has doubled down in its crusade against the Trump administration, confirming that millions of more accounts will be suspended in the months ahead.

NewsPunch, 07/07/18.

This is a dangerous step into a totalitarian society. When free speech is limited, and establishment narratives are all that are allowed to be seen, we’ve stepped into 1984.

This isn’t something that should be underrated, either. As The Hill reported all the way back in 2015, ‘9 out of 10 people on Twitter use it to get news.’

Unfortunately, with these Orwellian measures being exposed on Twitter, we can’t even say, ‘there’s always Facebook’ — the number one source of news for millennials out there.

Facebook secretly shadowbans based on establishment-dissenting views, too.

Back in 2018 it was shown that Facebook actually has a patent on their shadowbanning techniques:

The social networking system may receive a list of proscribed content and block comments containing the proscribed content by reducing the distribution of those comments to other viewing users. However, the social networking system may display the blocked content to the commenting user such that the commenting user is not made aware that his or her comment was blocked.

Moderating content in an online forum, USPTO Patent.

It’s a shady technique, shadowbanning, meant to discourage the user’s confidence while encouraging them to just quit trying to be heard. To the user, nobody cares what they have to say. In actual fact, they have been secretly muzzled.

Now, I’m no fan of Donald Trump, and I’m far from a Republican. I disagree with both of the aforementioned on most issues. The same goes for establishment Democrats and liberals, who I also disagree with on most all talking points, as well. But in no way, shape, or form do I want any of their views silenced. That’s tyranny.

The only way to really combat an opposing idea is to bring your own to the table through healthy, reason-based debate. To fall into a culture of suppression and censorship is to fall into fascism — which we seem to creeping closer towards every day — and is therefore a path we should all be fighting to avoid going down, no matter what political slant we belong to.

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