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April 06, 2018

Has Twitter "Shadowbanned" Ted Cruz? It Sure Looks That Way

Second item from Jim Geraghty's Morning Jolt, after the obligatory how-terrible-is-the-Williamson-firing piece.

"Shadowbanning" is a banning that's hidden from the user. They don't ban you outright, but they do block everyone except the people you most frequently interact with from seeing your tweets.

A while ago, when I was still on twitter, one of my snarky comments would get 20, 40 retweets, at minimum. Then one day many of my tweets would get zero retweets, or 3.

When Twitter suspended me, I didn't bother getting unsuspended, because I knew they'd already blocked my tweets from 99% of all potential readers. So why bother even using their piece of shit data-exploitation antisocial media?

I would like Twitter to be quizzed heavily about this when they come before Congress to testify. Many conservatives are shadowbanned -- Mollie Hemingway seems to be. Michelle Malkin seems to be.

And even Senator Ted Cruz seems to be.

If this is not actually an open forum, they ought to say so. It's a simple matter of honest disclosure.

Ted Cruz made a point I'm not sure I agree with, but I'd like to hear Twitter quizzed on it. Twitter is immune from the libel published by people using their site because of the Communications Decency Act's provision that an interactive service provider is not responsible for what third parties might write on their service.

That is, they're not considered "publishers" of the libel, even though their platform could be considered a magazine in which the libel was published.

The idea is that they're just providing a neutral space for writing without endorsing anything written on their platform. Like the builder of a wall isn't liable for any defamatory graffiti a third party scrawls on the wall.

But if Twitter is no longer just an open forum but are in fact endorsing some views and punishing others, then they could be construed to be "publishers" of the tweets they permit to be seen, and would therefore not have the protections of the CDA's immunity clause.

Twitter should be made to answer these questions, and made to answer if they still think they're immune from suit from the third party libels the people they're endorsing by not shadowbanning are committing.

Good Point: Remember how the TruCons were totally against pushing back against a corporation's political messaging until The Atlantic fired their cocktail party pal Kevin Williamson (and also dimmed their similar hopes of leaving the conservative movement to work in the more respectable liberal press)?

Well, same thing here.

Twitter, they'll say, is a private company and has the right to shadowban whoever it likes until it does so to the Respectable Conservatives, too. Then they'll be up in arms.

"Eat us last," they begged the crocodile.

posted by Ace of Spades at 01:13 PM

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