Conservatives In An Uproar After Twitter Deploys Draconian Shadowban Filter

Conservative Twitter users are in an uproar over draconian new "behavioral filters" which will start hiding tweets that "detract from the conversation," and which CEO Jack Dorsey says are designed to "significantly reduce the ability to game and skew our systems" (less than six months before midterms, we might add).

Twitter will now use thousands of behavioral signals when filtering search, replies, and algorithmic recommendations. If it believes you are trying to game its system, or simply acting like a jerk, it will push your tweets lower down. It’s the biggest update so far in the company’s push to create healthier conversations, an initiative announced by its CEO Jack Dorsey in March.

Among the signals Twitter will use: whether you tweet at large numbers of accounts you don’t follow, how often you’re blocked by people you interact with, whether you created many accounts from a single IP address, and whether your account is closely related to others that have violated its terms of service. -BuzzFeed

“A lot of our past action has been content-based, and we have been shifting more and more toward conduct and behaviors on the system,” Dorsey said in a Monday briefing at the company’s San Francisco headquarters. 

The push is meant to get out ahead of problems that might normally result in an abuse report under the existing system. In testing, Twitter said the changes led to an 8% drop in abuse reports on conversations (the discussions that happen in the replies to a tweet) and a 4% drop in abuse reports in search. These drops, the company believes, indicate that something is working. 

“Directionally, it does point to probably our biggest impact change,” Dorsey said. “This is a step, but we can see this going quite far.”

Dorsey says he will do a periscope soon about the changes. 

Sounds great Jack!

Facebook, meanwhile, is beefing up its reporting tools within the Messenger app. 

An app update for Messenger includes enhanced reporting tools - allowing mobile users to report harassment or someone who isn't who they say they are (or jerk ex boyfriends). Users can find the new option in the Contact menu for each messenger conversation by tapping on the name of the person inside the chat, scrolling down to the "Something's Wrong" option, and choosing from a list of offenses to report. 

“Providing more granular reporting options in Messenger makes it faster and easier to report things for our Community Operations team to review,” write Hadi Michel, Messenger product manager. “They review reports in over 50 languages. This means our community will see issues addressed faster so they can continue to have positive experiences on Messenger.”

One can imagine how much fun High Schoolers and your average Tinder users are going to have with this reporting feature every time they get dumped, doubled-crossed or otherwise made upset.


macholatte bowie28 Wed, 05/16/2018 - 10:18 Permalink


"We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.”
- George Orwell, 1984




Nothing to see here. Move along.
- Judas Sessions


In reply to by bowie28

Herd Redirecti… King of Ruperts Land Wed, 05/16/2018 - 13:15 Permalink

I am all for calling something Orwellian when people invert the truth completely.  But I would prefer we call it what it is.  Satanic.

Twitter, Facebook, Google, Reddit, numerous internet forums I have been participating on for close to a decade, ALL are ramping up their censorship, coincidentally at the same time as Israel is committing its latest round of crimes against humanity, and fomenting World War III, with warmongers like Nikki Haley and John Bolton in place, all while a mysterious 'Q Anon' tells us to 'trust the plan'! 


In reply to by King of Ruperts Land

rf80412 bobcatz Wed, 05/16/2018 - 11:31 Permalink

Then what?  Talk to people ... like we all used to for hundreds and thousands of years before social media.  Act as if your goal was to make them make it illegal not to communicate in a digital format where what was said and by whom can't be filed away permanently and then hauled out at any time to destroy you.

In reply to by bobcatz

techpriest rf80412 Wed, 05/16/2018 - 15:19 Permalink

I get the concern, but I do see it a bit differently:

In a truly public space, everyone owns it, which means that nobody owns it. Imagine a public toilet that no one has an obligation to clean - a public square would end up in the same condition unless you had a small group of people who all recognize the same moral duties to the public space. Its possible, but not on a large scale.

In reality, "public" has been redefined to "government owned," which means that all decisions about a public space are political by nature. If that meant shutting up some people for the sake of some influential group... well, we've all heard about "hate speech" laws.

In a privately owned space, esp. a privately owned space where you are a non-paying guest, it is understood that the owners own the place, they make the rules, and you can abide or leave. Facebook and Twitter may have marketed themselves as a platform for everybody, but experience has shown that this is impossible. At some point, you would have malcontents that are running users off, and for that reason alone you would have to kick people. However, it might be that their definition of "malcontent" isn't the same as yours.

IMO, the underlying problem is not "the public square being privately owned." I would describe it more as "I suddenly realized that Amazon is not the only place to do business on the Internet or on the planet, and I'm going to start checking out the other options."

In reply to by rf80412

Rapunzal macholatte Wed, 05/16/2018 - 10:22 Permalink

As simple as that, they cannot have that the people are slowly waking up. This is just the beginning. At you tube they start to ban a lot channels, that criticized our system of financial fraud, pedophiles and corruption. It seems more and more like at the end of the USSR. I remember how we were laughing at their press and lies. I never thought we will end up the same. Fuck the Rockefellers and Rothschilds 

In reply to by macholatte

techpriest jin187 Wed, 05/16/2018 - 16:17 Permalink

In this case, lies, damned lies, and statistics are involved. "MSM" means different things depending on how you phrase the question. For example, I remember one conservative who said "I hate the liberal media - that's why I only watch Fox News!" In the same vein are liberals who hate TV media but love NPR.

In reply to by jin187

Herd Redirecti… short screwed Wed, 05/16/2018 - 17:04 Permalink

That is what I am talking about.  You can call it 'Orwellian', or you can call it what it is, 'Satanic inversion'.  A complete inversion of the truth.  It works because most people are used to lies that omit a tiny bit of truth, or that twist the truth.  Many people simply cannot fathom that others would say one thing, while meaning the EXACT OPPOSITE.

In reply to by short screwed

swmnguy css1971 Wed, 05/16/2018 - 11:25 Permalink

Correct.  And you nailed the basics of this issue.

These are all private platforms.  Somebody owns them.  They provide them for "free," which means they're making money some other way.  Selling the information of everyone who uses the platform, mainly.  And the owners are responsible for what happens on their platform.  

The internet is still in its childhood.  It's no longer the wild-and-wooly toddler it was, but it's far from reaching its developed form.  As a tantrum-throwing toddler, it's creating highly annoying problems which may or may not be serious.  Right now the owners of these platforms are dealing with problems caused by anonymous bullies and fraudsters.  Anything that will be effective in cleaning up discourse will inconvenience well-meaning individuals.  The internet as it currently operates has been a godsend for charlatans, demagogues, grifters and social vandals.  It's also been great for people of good intentions, but the downsides are serious.

It's hard to foresee the next step.  I imagine there will be a lot more user controls to filter out the sewage, making it user-optional to see the trolls and vandals.  Those of us who enjoy the brutal language can still see it.  Getting rid of some of the more tiresome grifters wouldn't bother me much.

Every other new medium has gone through this process, including print and broadcast.

In reply to by css1971

techpriest swmnguy Wed, 05/16/2018 - 15:30 Permalink

My own thought is that the open source community could take something like, but make it more straightforward to create your own version of it. An app or personal page could navigate every platform you are plugged into, and you could join or leave platforms at will.

Think of this type of social media as a bar street. Each bar has a different theme, aimed at different people, and you come or go as you wish. Also, you can have a different identity at each location, so that when your employer asks about your social media presence, you don't have to worry about your public and semi-private (nothing on social media is private) life being on the same profile.

In reply to by swmnguy