Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey declared during his appearance on Sean Hannity’s radio show this week that Twitter sanctions users for their offline behavior too. This is nothing new — Breitbart News reported on the new rules in November 2017.
"Jack" disclosed on Hannity today that Twitter takes into account "off-platform behavior" in its moderation decisions. So something you do IRL that has no necessary connection to Twitter can be used as justification for a Twitter ban. I'm writing a dystopian screenplay about this
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) August 9, 2018
Jack Dorsey appeared on the Sean Hannity Show speak about bias against conservatives on the platform, which he claims is not factual. He also made the point that Twitter now evaluates users’ offline behavior as a factor in receiving sanctions on the platform. This caused a stir across social media, but is not actually anything new. In fact, the policy took effect in 2017.
Last November, it was reported that Twitter would be sanctioning users for their offline behavior starting in December 2017.
“So a hypothetical verified user who tweeted nothing but pictures of kittens but organized Nazi rallies for a living could now retain his tweeting privileges, but lose his verification badge,” reported the Verge, while Mashable added that Twitter would also “monitor for hate speech in usernames, display names, and profile bios.”
The change came at the same time as conservatives and prominent activists like Tommy Robison lost their Twitter account verification. November also saw a purge of conservatives from the platform, beyond the de-verification of prominent accounts.
Beyond denying shadowbanning, Dorsey also discussed how the company looks at “behavior” on social media. He told Hannity, “These are models that are looking at behaviors… Behaviors of bad-faith actors who intend to manipulate, distract, divide a conversation, or unfairly amplify their content that they didn’t earn. We do rank search, we do rank trends, we do rank conversations accordingly. That does not affect one’s timeline. If you follow someone on Twitter, you’re going to see them in your timeline. We do rank the timeline for relevance, so it might take some scrolling to see everything, but you can also turn that ranking off in the settings so you can see everything in ‘recently’ order.”