Business Insider Admits Shadowbanning Is Real

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The Indian branch of corporate news site Business Insider has acknowledged that shadowbanning, in which social media platforms hide or suppress content without informing the user, is real, in an in-depth report that interviewed a number of influencers.

The report noted a number of instances in which social media companies admitted to suppressing content without notifying their users, even while they continue to deny the practice of shadowbanning.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal (Google Cloud/YouTube)

Via Business Insider India:

In 2019, Instagram had apologised for shadowbanning pole dancers and attendees of a Caribbean carnival. Posts with hashtags #PoleFitness and #StLuciaCarnival were removed from the explore tab completely but the platform said it was an error. “We apologise for the mistake,” a spokesperson said in both these cases. “It is never our intention to silence members of our community,” said the platform spokesperson.

In India, Facebook and Instagram ‘ mistakenly blocked’ #Sikh for almost three months in 2020. A similar apology was released after it caught international attention. An Instagram spokesperson said its ‘processes fell down and it was never their intention to silence members of this community.’

Breitbart News was one of the first to report on the practice of politically-driven shadowbanning at mainstream tech companies, quoting an insider in 2016 who claimed shadowbanning is “real and happening every day.”

Tech companies have continued to deny the use of the practice. In 2018, Twitter’s head of censorship (the notorious “Trust & Safety” department) Vijaya Gadde used an impossibly narrow definition of shadowbanning in order to maintain the fiction that the company does not engage in the practice. In a public post, Gadde claimed that a post was not shadowbanned if you can still find it by navigating to a user’s profile.

The establishment media has reluctantly come round to the view that shadowbanning does occur. Vice admitted in 2018 that the accounts of high-profile Republicans were being hidden from users.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.

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