On Thursday, conservative commentator Dave Rubin reported he had spent the last two weeks at Twitter's San Francisco headquarters talking to engineers, product managers, and Elon Musk and learned that the team still "have more questions than answers" including around a batch of "secret" labels used to shadowban conservatives beyond the revelations from the Twitter Files.
Rubin tweeted, "Accounts aren’t just hit with labels that are obvious to insiders. They now found more 'secret' labels which are causing shadowbans. My account was hit with all three; 'Recent abuse strike,' 'Recent misinformation strike', 'Recent suspension strike.'"
"It’s unclear so far what these strikes actually do, but for sure they suppress views and recommendations, they are trying to figure out to what extent. I also had many innocuous tweets labeled NSFW or NSFA (not safe for ads) which affect visibility in the timeline.
"Also, there’s an entire KeyWord database so that machine learning makes sure not to promote violence, porn etc., but it’s a mess of overreaching words. Literally the word 'gay' was on the KeyWord list which would make you not advertiser friendly and harm the tweet in the algo," Rubin tweeted.
In July 2022, Rubin was suspended from Twitter for defending Jordan Peterson's tweet about Elliot Page.
"Backing up for a sec, they found the 'recent suspension strike' on my account most interesting because it was fro July 2022, when I was suspended for calling out @jordanbpeterson’s unjust suspension. So though suspension was reversed the action on the account remained," Rubin tweeted.
On December 8, Bari Weiss tweeted round 2 of the Twitter files which confirmed that leadership at the social media platform built blacklists and participated in shadowbanning for years under the watch of Vijaya Gadde, former Twitter lead counsel and former head of Twitter Trust and Safety Yoel Roth.
Examples of shadowbanning under former Twitter management included Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk being tagged with a "Do Not Amplify" tag. Talk show host Dan Bongino was tagged with a "Search Blacklist" tag which had a similar suppressive consequence.
Rubin said, "Elon was bringing people in and out constantly and seems to be aware of pretty much every issue. He thinks maybe the entire code has to be torn down and start from scratch. At the end last night he said that the whole situation is 'a flaming dumpster rolling down the street.'"
"So I assure you they are aware of the problems and Elon and engineers are there all night trying to untie this crazy knot. Some changes they’ve made, like the 'For You' tab, have confused people and hurt engagement for accounts who have gotten the NSFA label without knowing," Rubin added.
Musk remarked on the Rubin's tweets and said, "Accurate thread."
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