Shadowbanning: Twitter’s Algorithm Disclosure Reveals Blacklisting Code

BERLIN, GERMANY DECEMBER 01: SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer Award 2020 on December 01, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Hannibal Hanschke-Pool/Getty Images)
Hannibal Hanschke/Getty Images, BNN Edit

Twitter took its algorithm open source this weekend, allowing users to trawl through the company’s formerly hidden code. In the process, new information about how Twitter’s blacklisting of users and topics has come to light.

One Twitter user discovered a line of code referencing Twitter’s blacklisted topics. The blacklist itself was not released as part of the open-sourcing of the algorithm, as it is a file in a database and not a line of code.

What the code does reveal is that a user who discusses blacklisted topics on the platform will get de-ranked by the algorithm, causing fewer people to see and interact with their tweet.

The code will also check if a username contains an offensive term, and will downrank the user on that basis.

As reported by Breitbart News’ Lucas Nolan, the disclosure also revealed what appears to be a tag that identified requests made by the government to adjust Twitter’s algorithm in some way.

Twitter owner and CEO Elon Musk announced the open sourcing of Twitter’s algorithm in a tweet on Friday, admitting that some of the revelations could be “embarrassing” for the company.

“Acid test is that independent third parties should be able to determine, with reasonable accuracy, what will probably be shown to users,” said Musk. “No doubt, many embarrassing issues will be discovered, but we will fix them fast!”

As CEO, Musk has not shied away from shining a light on Twitter’s past abuses. He opened up Twitter’s internal communications to journalists, an act that led to the publication of the “Twitter Files,” which shed more light on the media and deep state’s efforts to pressure the company to censor domestic political foes.

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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