Trump warns Twitter it will be investigated for ‘SHADOW BANNING’ conservatives as he calls practice of depressing their exposure ‘discriminatory and illegal’
- Published report found conservatives’ exposure on Twitter is artificially limited
- President blew up about the practice on Thursday, claiming it’s ‘discriminatory and illegal’ and promising some sort of investigation
- Twitter’s automatic fill-in engine doesn’t suggest some right-wingers’ accounts when the first few letter of their names are typed
- That problem isn’t universal among conservatives but liberals have been unaffected
Donald Trump entered a contentious battle over online censorship on Thursday, blasting privately-owned Twitter for allegedly depressing the exposure of messages from its conservaitve users.
‘Twitter “SHADOW BANNING” prominent Republicans. Not good’ the president boomed, ironically on his globally unmissable Twitter account.
‘We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once! Many complaints.’
It’s unclear what the administration could do to challenge Twitter for sorting content and delivering it selectively to users based on a computer algorithm.
It’s also not obvious what law Trump believes the platform’s management might be violating.
But much of the social media right-wing is up in arms over what they see as a biased protocol that regulraly disadvantages them in the marketplace of ideas.
The president’s tweet followed a widely discussed VICE News story dissecting Twitter’s automated system that fills in names based on the first few typed characters in a search box.
Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel doesn’t show up the way her adversaries’ do, despite her unusual first name.
Several conservative Republican congressmen have the same problem, as well as Donald Trump Jr.’s spokesman Andrew Surabian.
A Twitter spokesman told the news outlet that its algorithm ‘is based on account *behavior* not the content of Tweets.’ He didn’t say how ‘behavior’ online is evaluated, or what McDaniel and others may have done to downgrade their Twitter exposure.
Republican Reps. Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz – three members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus – have also been ensnared.
‘It is curious that these allegations would arise the week following Congressman Gaetz’s heated exchange with Twitter senior executives before the House Judiciary Committee,’ a Gaetz spokesman told VICE.
Other right-wingers in Congress, including Iowa Rep. Steve King, don’t seem to be affected.
In an April hearing convened by the House Judiciary Committee, ranking Democrat Jerrold Nadler said the notion of social media companies censoring conservatives is a ‘hoax’ and a ‘tired narrative of imagined victimhood.’