Twitter Files Reveals Troubling Details of How Company Blacklisted Libs of TikTok

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and co-founder & CEO of Square, attends the crypto-currency conference Bitcoin 2021 Convention at the Mana Convention Center in Miami, Florida, on June 4, 2021. (Photo by Marco BELLO / AFP) (Photo by MARCO BELLO/AFP via Getty Images)
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A new installment of the Twitter Files investigation has revealed that the popular Libs of TikTok account was one of the conservative voices targeted by the company’s former censorship queen, Vijaya Gadde, and Trump-hating leftist Yoel Roth, who had the account placed on a “Trends Blacklist.” The new information paints a troubling picture of how Twitter blacklisted conservatives even while admitting that Libs of TikTok had “not directly engaged in behavior violative of the Hateful Conduct policy.”

Twitter executives employed several different tools to blacklist and shadowban conservatives. A thread posted to Elon Musk’s platform by former New York Times reporter Bari Weiss on Thursday revealed that Libs of TikTok was placed on the “Trends Blacklist.”

(Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images, BNN Edit)

“One of the accounts that rose to this level of scrutiny was @libsoftiktok — an account that was on the ‘Trends Blacklist’ and was designated as ‘Do Not Take Action on User Without Consulting With SIP-PES,'” Weiss said.

A screenshot of the internal dashboard for the Libs of TikTok account shows that it was also placed on “Notifications Spike” and “Recent Abuse Strike.”

Weiss explained that a group of Twitter executives known as the Strategic Response Team – Global Escalation Team, or SRT-GET, were the ones who decided whether to limit the reach of certain users, and often handed up to 200 “cases” a day.

“But there existed a level beyond official ticketing, beyond the rank-and-file moderators following the company’s policy on paper,” Weiss added. “That is the ‘Site Integrity Policy, Policy Escalation Support,’ known as ‘SIP-PES.'”

“This secret group included Head of Legal, Policy, and Trust (Vijaya Gadde), the Global Head of Trust & Safety (Yoel Roth), subsequent CEOs Jack Dorsey and Parag Agrawal, and others,” Weiss revealed.

Weiss added that Libs of TikTok operator Chaya Raichik said her account was subjected to six suspensions in 2022 alone, and that she was blocked from posting for as long as one week, each time.

“Twitter repeatedly informed Raichik that she had been suspended for violating Twitter’s policy against ‘hateful conduct,'” Weiss said.

“But in an internal SIP-PES memo from October 2022, after her seventh suspension, the committee acknowledged that ‘LTT has not directly engaged in behavior violative of the Hateful Conduct policy,'” Weiss revealed.

“The committee justified her suspensions internally by claiming her posts encouraged online harassment of ‘hospitals and medical providers’ by insinuating ‘that gender-affirming healthcare is equivalent to child abuse or grooming,'” Weiss said.

Weiss went on to point out that the manner in which Twitter employees handled online harassment was not consistent, as a tweet doxing the operator of Libs of TikTok is still on the platform, despite Raichik reporting it.

“Compare this to what happened when Raichik herself was doxxed on November 21, 2022. A photo of her home with her address was posted in a tweet that has garnered more than 10,000 likes,” she said.

“When Raichik told Twitter that her address had been disseminated she says Twitter Support responded with this message: ‘We reviewed the reported content, and didn’t find it to be in violation of the Twitter rules.’ No action was taken. The doxxing tweet is still up,” Weiss added.

Libs of TikTok was not the only account targeted by Twitter executives.

The Twitter Files posted Thursday also revealed that Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk and conservative commentator Dan Bongino were shadowbanned by the social media company under the rubrics of “Visibility Filtering” or “VF.”

In the wake of these revelations, many other Twitter users began to inquire whether their accounts have also been affected.

Musk took to Twitter on Thursday night to say that the social media platform is “working on a software update that will show your true account status, so you know clearly if you’ve been shadowbanned, the reason why and how to appeal.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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