In a Twitter thread on Thursday, former New York Times reporter Bari Weiss revealed that mainstream conservative voices from Charlie Kirk to Dan Bongino were blacklisted or shadowbanned by the social media giant under the rubrics of “Visibility Filtering” or “VF.”
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.
Take, for example, Stanford’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya who argued that Covid lockdowns would harm children. Twitter secretly placed him on a “Trends Blacklist,” which prevented his tweets from trending.
Or consider the popular right-wing talk show host, Dan Bongino, who at one point was slapped with a “Search Blacklist.”
Twitter set the account of conservative activist Charlie Kirk to “Do Not Amplify.”
As Weiss and multiple conservative commenters pointed out, Twitter routinely denied shadowbanning voices, especially based on “political viewpoints or ideology.” But “multiple high-level sources confirmed that “Visibility Filtering” — Twitter censors’ euphemism for shadowbanning — took place.
“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 employee is quoted as having told Weiss.
“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,” said one anonymous engineer, which two other Twitter employees confirmed. [Emphasis added]