A new video posted by Andrew Torba, the CEO of free speech social media platform Gab, illustrates how one form of Twitter’s shadowbanning actually works.
A video posted by Andrew Torba, the CEO of Gab — an alternative social media platform focused on free speech — illustrates one form of Twitter’s shadowbanning using tweets in reply to President Donald Trump. In effect, “shadow-banning” removes certain tweets from appearing where they are posted. Torba illustrates this in the video by showing a string of replies to a tweet posted by President Trump. Torba shows that a tweet from the verified Gab Twitter account is hidden in the replies to the president’s tweet even though it had received significant engagement from other users.
The shadowbanning also prevents Twitter users from seeing threads started by users that they aren’t following. In the video, Torba demonstrates how the “de-threaded” process works for users who have received the shadow restrictions. In certain circumstances, Twitter will display the text “This conversation has too many replies to show them all,” which signals that some sort of restriction has been placed on a user in a thread.
All of these steps are designed, in the opinion of Twitter’s critics, with diminishing interactions with accounts the platform doesn’t approve of, and limited the spread of their tweets.
Shadowbanning also manifests itself in other ways. Both VICE News and Gizmodo reported this week that prominent conservatives and mainstream Republicans had been removed from the auto-fill drop down box that appears when users are using Twitter’s search bar.
Torba ended the video by urging Twitter users to go to shadowban.eu to check to see if Twitter had placed shadowban restrictions on their personal accounts.
Gab was developed as a social media platform dedicated to free speech. it does not advertise or collect data on its users. It continues to thrive despite Google and Apple not allowing the platform to offer an app for users through their respective app stores.