"Thread: The Twitter Files Part Two," Weiss tweeted. "Twitter's secret blacklists." Many users have long speculated that Twitter employees held secret blacklists and would shadow ban and suppress content from those accounts they deemed unpalateable.
Weiss revealed that yes, "teems of Twitter employees" did build blacklists, and used those to prevent content from trending that they didn't want to see. While a user is notified if their account is locked, there was no way to tell if your account was being suppressed.
"A new #TwitterFiles investigation reveals that teams of Twitter employees build blacklists, prevent disfavored tweets from trending, and actively limit the visibility of entire accounts or even trending topics—all in secret, without informing users."
Adrienne Curry responded that this is why she "stopped used twitter for 2 years," because she was "shadow banned into hell."
"Twitter once had a mission 'to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.' Along the way, barriers nevertheless were erected."
Weiss reported that Twitter prevented noted doctor Jay Bhattacharya's tweets from trending during the pandemic-inspired lockdowns. Bhattacharya was an early critic of lockdowns and spoke out against their negative impact on children, who were not as susceptible to the Covid virus.
Bhattacharya is a professor at Stanford, and was forthright in expressing his concerns about the problems with resitrctions as a means to fight an airborne virus.
Dan Bongino, Weiss reported, was also slapped with a "search blacklist" to prevent people from finding his tweets.
Charlie Kirk was hit with a "Do Not Amplify."
"We now know Twitter specifically blacklisted Charlie Kirk," Jack Posobiec wrote, "and put him on a Do Not Amplify list. The regime names those they fear."
The Hodge Twins noted that this was evidence for what "every Conservative Twitter user on the plant has known" for years.
Weiss noted that "Twitter denied that it does such things," and had bene doing so for years. "In 2018, Twitter's Vijaya Gadde (then Head of Legal Policy and Trust) and Kayvon Beykpour (Head of Product) said: 'We do not shadow ban.' They added: 'And we certainly don’t shadow ban based on political viewpoints or ideology.'"
"The game was rigged," Luke Rudkowski said.
"What many people call 'shadow banning,' Twitter executives and employees call 'Visibility Filtering' or 'VF.' Multiple high-level sources confirmed its meaning," Weiss continued.
"'Think about visibility filtering as being a way for us to suppress what people see to different levels. It’s a very powerful tool,' one senior Twitter employee told us."
In 2018, then Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said "We don’t shadow ban, and we certainly don’t shadow ban based on political viewpoints. We do rank tweets by default to make Twitter more immediately relevant..."
"'VF' refers to Twitter’s control over user visibility. It used VF to block searches of individual users; to limit the scope of a particular tweet’s discoverability; to block select users’ posts from ever appearing on the “trending” page; and from inclusion in hashtag searches," Weiss tweeted.
"All without users’ knowledge."
"'We control visibility quite a bit. And we control the amplification of your content quite a bit. And normal people do not know how much we do,' one Twitter engineer told us," Weiss wrote. "Two additional Twitter employees confirmed."
"The group that decided whether to limit the reach of certain users was the Strategic Response Team - Global Escalation Team, or SRT-GET. It often handled up to 200 'cases' a day," Weiss confirmed.
"But there existed a level beyond official ticketing, beyond the rank-and-file moderators following the company’s policy on paper. That is the 'Site Integrity Policy, Policy Escalation Support,' known as 'SIP-PES,'" she wrote.
"This secret group included Head of Legal, Policy, and Trust (Vijaya Gadde), the Global Head of Trust & Safety (Yoel Roth), subsequent CEOs Jack Dorsey and Parag Agrawal, and others," Weiss said, naming names.
Roth notably believes that satire is dangerous in the real world, and recently left Twitter. While at Twitter, he had weekly meetings with federal agents, and it was as a result of the information relayed to him at these meetings that he believed stories about the Biden family's influence peddling, as learned from Hunter Biden's laptop, needed to be suppressed.
Agrawal came to be CEO after Dorsey, and said outright that he didn't believe the platform was beholden to upholding Americans' first amendment rights.
"Imagine how many views conservatives would have if we weren’t on blacklist," Posobiec wrote.
"It was in this group," Weiss wrote, that "the biggest, most politically sensitive decisions got made. 'Think high follower account, controversial,' another Twitter employee told us. For these 'there would be no ticket or anything.'"
Libs of TikTok, which exposes leftists in their own words, was subject to the "Trends Blasklist." Weiss reported that no action could be taken on that user "without consulting with SIP-PIES."
Weiss rightfully notes that the account has been banned by Twitter "six suspensions in 2022 alone." The account, founded by Chaya Raichik. has been banned eight times in total. Each suspension caused her to lose account access for up to a week.
"The account—which Chaya Raichik began in November 2020 and now boasts over 1.4 million followers—was subjected to six suspensions in 2022 alone, Raichik says. Each time, Raichik was blocked from posting for as long as a week."
Dave Rubin asked what everyone was thinking, which was if a list would be released of all targeted accounts.
"Twitter repeatedly informed Raichik that she had been suspended for violating Twitter’s policy against 'hateful conduct.'" Weiss wrote. "Hateful conduct" was the catch-all for things like "misgendering," or calling biological males men when they would prefer to be seen as women.
Meanwhile, Libs of TikTok was reposting content that already existed elsewhere, sharing it with an audience that would not have seen it otherwise. This exposure was deemed "hateful."
This despite the Twitter blacklist team knowing full well that Libs of TikTok was not actually in violation of the "hateful conduct" policy.
"But in an internal SIP-PES memo from October 2022, after her seventh suspension, the committee acknowledged that 'LTT has not directly engaged in behavior violative of the Hateful Conduct policy.'"
Weiss posted a "Site Policy Recommendation" for the account, saying that there was recommendation for placing the Libs of TikTok account "in a 7-day timeout at the account level [meaning, not for a specific Tweet] based on the account's continued patter of indirectly violating Twitter's Hateful Condult Policy by tweeting content that either leads to or intends to incite harassment against individuals and institutions that support LGBTQ communities. At this time, Site Policy has not found explicily violative Tweets, which would result in a permanent suspension of the account."
"The committee justified her suspensions internally by claiming her posts encouraged online harassment of 'hospitals and medical providers' by insinuating 'that gender-affirming healthcare is equivalent to child abuse or grooming,'" Weiss wrote.
The term "groomer" rose on Twitter after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' press secretary Christina Pushaw pushed back agaisnt those who falsely and misleadingly termed his Parental Rights in Education Bill the "Don't Say Gay Bill." She began to call it the "Anti-Groomer Bill." Others took up the term and used it to apply to Drag Queens reading stories about gender identity to school children as well as doctors who make big business from child sex changes.
"Compare this to what happened when Raichik herself was doxxed on November 21, 2022. A photo of her home with her address was posted in a tweet that has garnered more than 10,000 likes," Weiss wrote.
Libs of TikTok was first doxed by Washington Post journalist Taylor Lorenz.
"When Raichik told Twitter that her address had been disseminated she says Twitter Support responded with this message: 'We reviewed the reported content, and didn't find it to be in violation of the Twitter rules.' No action was taken. The doxxing tweet is still up," Weiss wrote.
"In internal Slack messages, Twitter employees spoke of using technicalities to restrict the visibility of tweets and subjects. Here’s Yoel Roth, Twitter’s then Global Head of Trust & Safety, in a direct message to a colleague in early 2021:
"A lot of times, SI has used technicality spam enforcements as a way to solve a problem created by Safety under-enforcing their policies. Which, again, isn't a problem per se - but it keeps us from addressing the root cause of the issue, which is that our Safety policies need some attention," Roth wrote in Slack, as shared by Weiss.
"Six days later, in a direct message with an employee on the Health, Misinformation, Privacy, and Identity research team, Roth requested more research to support expanding 'non-removal policy interventions like disabling engagements and deamplification/visibility filtering.'"
"Roth wrote: 'The hypothesis underlying much of what we’ve implemented is that if exposure to, e.g., misinformation directly causes harm, we should use remediations that reduce exposure, and limiting the spread/virality of content is a good way to do that.'"
"He added: 'We got Jack on board with implementing this for civic integrity in the near term, but we’re going to need to make a more robust case to get this into our repertoire of policy remediations – especially for other policy domains.'"
Weiss then pivoted in tweet 27 to pitching a new media site which would be a place to find out more about this unfolding story.
The first round of files was dropped by Matt Taibbi on Friday night, and was followed up by a Q&A on Twitter Spaces with Elon Musk. That first round of files discussed the suppression and censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story as reported by the New York Post.
After that drop, Musk promised there would be transparency. However, that goal was disrupted by Twitter attorney Jim Baker, who was intentionally censoring the Twitter files before Taibbi could release them. This was revealed over the weekend.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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