Advertisement
Wednesday, Aug 17, 2022
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

Does Twitter Shadow-Ban Users Who Tweet Vile Stuff?

If a tweet is deemed offensive, fake or provocative, Twitter employees will use their discretion to restrict the user from the social media feed.

Does Twitter Shadow-Ban Users Who Tweet Vile Stuff?
| Illustration
Does Twitter Shadow-Ban Users Who Tweet Vile Stuff?
outlookindia.com
2018-01-30T15:48:09+05:30

Around this time  last year, Twitter began rolling out a new feature whereby they temporarily began reducing the reach of tweets by users they thought were social media offenders. It popped up in conversation today when a right-wing Twitter celebrity, Madhu Purnia Kishwar, tweeted saying she was informed that Twitter had put her handle under shadow ban.

 Madhu Kishwar, whose verified Twitter Handle profile says she is a professor and founder of humans rights organization Manushi, was in the news recently when she tweeted that four Muslims were arrested for pelting stones at a school bus in Gurgaon in protest against the release of the film Paadmavat, forcing Haryana Police to clarify that no Muslims have been arrested or detained for the act that was orchestrated by Karni Sena. Kishwar had to apologise and delete the tweet. By then many had reported her account for instigating violence and propagating fake news by making up the names. 

 "I have been informed that @TwitterIndia has put my handle under #ShadowBan . Therefore, my tweets not reaching my followers. My average increase of followers used to be 2500 to 3000 per day. Now stagnant & my posts being #ShadowBanned," she tweeted.  

 'Shadow banning' is reportedly a tactic employed by the social media platform banning twitter users without actually banning them.  If a tweet is deemed offensive, fake or provocative, Twitter employees will use their discretion to restrict the user from the social media feed.  

 Last year, Buzz Feed article broke the news that Twitter Is Now Temporarily Throttling Reach Of Abusive Accounts.

It said: “The protocol (that was rolled out) temporarily prevents tweets from users Twitter deems abusive from being displayed to people who don't follow them, effectively reducing their reach. If the punished user mentions someone who doesn't follow them, for instance, that person would not see the tweet in their notifications tab. And if the punished user's followers retweet them, those retweets wouldn't be shown to people who don't follow them.”

 Twitter had introduced steps to bring down the level of abuse on the platform on February 7, last year through filters and permanently banning proscribed users. But they had kept the criteria to get oneself shadow-banned vague to stop users from gaming the system.Basically, it’s like putting a one-way glass window between the user and the Twitter community.

 But such is not the case with Madhu Kishwar.  Her verified handle was the first one to appear when a person who didn’t follow her searched for her handle. On the other hand, Kishwar's pinned tweet on Shadow-banning her account has 483 retweets till now. 

The Problem with Shadow Banning- 

 Shadow-banning appears to be a shady business where the twitter user is at the mercy of the twitter employee scrutinising their tweets. Twitter, or any other social networking site for that matter, is not liable to inform you why they shadow-banned you.  

 A report by the Lifestylenews speaks on a problematic aspect of the shadow-banning technique. It appears to be politically one-sided and biased. 

 According to the investigative report by James O'Keefe, a conservative activist, pro-Trump and conservative opinions bear the brunt of shadow-banning the most because Twitter is probably '99% anti-trump', thus making Twitter an anti-conservative platform. 

 In a series of secretly recorded videos of Twitter employees and former employees, his report claims that California-based Twitter headquarters automatically screens words like 'guns', 'Trump', 'America' or 'Conservative' in the handle names and follows an unspoken liberal culture. 

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

In happy times and sad, Habba Khatun’s sensuous songs make both young and old emotional. With the never-ending conflict bringing tragedies to every doorstep, Habba’s lyrics of separation amplify their mourning.

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

In India, only those relationships between a man and a woman are considered to be legitimate when there is a marriage between the two.

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Virat Kohli, 33, had recently stepped down as India's T20I captain and was subsequently removed as the ODI captain.

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

A Mahila Congress leader, who is the face of the ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ campaign, however, has accused the party of anti-women bias after she was denied a ticket.

Advertisement