Donald Trump slammed Twitter of silencing Republicans on the social media platform. Coining a new term for it, he tweeted, “Twitter ‘SHADOW BANNING’ prominent Republicans. Not good. We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once! Many complaints”. Few Republican leaders had been complaining that their accounts could not be found when searched and there won’t be any suggested search results on Twitter. In an interview with Fox News Channel, House Intelligence Chairman Devin said that he and fellow Republican Congressmen Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan, and Matt Gaetz have been “shadow-banned” by Twitter.
Twitter “SHADOW BANNING” prominent Republicans. Not good. We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once! Many complaints.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2018
Shadow Ban is no restriction to the users who has been banned, but it prevents the followers to see the posts from the banned account. No matter how hard the banned account user try to show up, the posts will remain invisible to others. It is basically a tool that is created to work against abuses and spams.
Although a day after Donald Trump’s tweet, the search bar of the affected accounts started functioning normally. There have been accusations by conservatives and libertarians against Twitter for curbing their rights on social media for years.
Twitter policy lead Vijaya Gadde and product lead Kayvon Beykpour has denied the allegation and tried to clarify the situation. They explained that it’s only shadow banning if the user content is made unfound. Justifying the case, they said that the tweets and search results are ranked, it is just that few contents are harder to find.
Shadow is the act of blocking a user or his/her content from the social media community. So, the users’ content will be visible neither in the feed nor on a search. According to a report, a former Twitter techie had said that the shadow ban is a policy to acquire full control to its users account where person believes that there is no engagement with his/her content, whereas it actually remains hidden from people.