Rep. Gaetz Files FEC Complaint Against Twitter Over Shadow Bans

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against Twitter after he discovered that his account was being shadowbanned - the practice of excluding or reducing the visibility of one's tweets from normal circulation on the platform.

Gaetz's decision comes after several weeks of conservative users proving that they've been subject to "Quality Filter Discrimination" (QFD) shadowbans, as well as a "glitch" reported by VICE that excluded user's names from auto-populating search results.

During an appearance with Fox's Tucker Carlson, Gaetz announced that he had filed the FEC complaint, which "gives his political rivals an unfair advantage," reports Cassandra Fairbanks of the Gateway Pundit

Earlier in the week, Gaetz told the Daily Caller "The evidence is piling up that I am being treated differently on Twitter than people on the political Left and I don’t like that because I enjoy the Twitter platform, I enjoy the engagement, I enjoy the candor," adding "I would think that having won my election with 69 percent of the vote to serve in the Congress that the marketplace of ideas could accommodate my views." 

Gaetz also equated his Twitter shadowban to directly helping his political opponents. 

"So I believe that Twitter may have illegally donated to the campaigns of my opponents by prejudicing against my content," he said, while also noting over Twitter that several prominent conservative lawmakers were also subject to the practice. 

Perhaps in his FEC complaint Gaetz will include undercover videos from Project Veritas, which caught several Twitter employees in January admitting to shadow bans and other bias against conservatives.

Abhinav Vadrevu:  "One strategy is to shadow ban so you have ultimate control. The idea of a shadow ban is that you ban someone but they don't know they've been banned, because they keep posting but no one sees their content."

"So they just think that no one is engaging with their content, when in reality, no one is seeing it. I don't know if Twitter does this anymore."

Meanwhile, Olinda Hassan, a Policy Manager for Twitter’s Trust and Safety team said on December 15th, 2017 at a Twitter holiday party that the development of a system of “down ranking” “shitty people” is in the works:

“Yeah. That’s something we’re working on. It’s something we’re working on. We’re trying to get the shitty people to not show up. It’s a product thing we’re working on right now.”

As we reported on Wednesday, Twitter's product lead Kayvon Beykpour issued a mostly useless explanation over the platform on Wednesday morning, suggesting that they're "always working to improve our behavior-based ranking models," and that their "breadth an accuracy doesn't make judgements based on political views."

And on Friday, Twitter issued an Orwellian proclamation announcing that they totally don't shadowban people, except then they describe exactly how they do so. 

"People are asking us if we shadow ban. We do not. But let’s start with, “what is shadow banning?”

The best definition we found is this: deliberately making someone’s content undiscoverable to everyone except the person who posted it, unbeknownst to the original poster." -Twitter 

Then, Twitter reiterates they don't shadow ban - with the caveat in parentheses that you may need to go directly to the timeline of some users in order to see their tweets.

"We do not shadow ban. You are always able to see the tweets from accounts you follow (although you may have to do more work to find them, like go directly to their profile). And we certainly don’t shadow ban based on political viewpoints or ideology." -Twitter 

In other words, Twitter says they don't shadow ban - it's just that tweets from people you follow may never appear unless you click directly into their timeline. 


Arne Saknussemm Sat, 07/28/2018 - 12:11 Permalink

Why are all these morons so happy to trot out the Critical Theory, Marxist word games...why don't they call it censorship?! The English language is just another thing they are corrupting...need to take it back with some logic and clarity...

infotechsailor NidStyles Sat, 07/28/2018 - 12:26 Permalink

.ya jack Dorsey should be liable for every single conservative that is shadow banned. Class action lawsuit, run those commies into the ground with millions in damages. This goes back well to before the 2016 election. They want to talk about meddling, no one meddled more than big tech companies trying to censor conservatives on social media. Facebook and Google are just as bad. 

In reply to by NidStyles

macholatte Gaius Frakkin'… Sat, 07/28/2018 - 12:48 Permalink


Twitter & Facebook are Alynski machines (aka Gaslighting) utilizing two primary tactics of the Progs, lying and "silence the opposition".  Clearly social media needs to be regulated with fines that are proportional to the wealth of the companies. Example: The shadow banning fine should be $1,000,000 per incident.


Here are some of the instructions from Rules for Radicals:

"Tactics are those conscious deliberate acts by which human beings live with each other and deal with the world around them. ... Here our concern is with the tactic of taking; how the Have-Nots can take power away from the Haves." p.126

Always remember the first rule of power tactics (pps.127-134):

1. "Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have."

2. "Never go outside the expertise of your people. When an action or tactic is outside the experience of the people, the result is confusion, fear and retreat.... [and] the collapse of communication.

3. "Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)

4. "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity."

5. "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage."

6. "A good tactic is one your people enjoy."

7. "A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag. Man can sustain militant interest in any issue for only a limited time...."

8. "Keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose."

9. "The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself."

10. "The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign."

11. "If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside... every positive has its negative."

12. "The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative."

13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.  In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and 'frozen.'...

     "...any target can always say, 'Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?' When your 'freeze the target,' you disregard these [rational but distracting] arguments.... Then, as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all the 'others' come out of the woodwork very soon. They become visible by their support of the target...'

     "One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other." (pps.127-134)



In reply to by Gaius Frakkin'…

SweetDoug macholatte Sat, 07/28/2018 - 14:25 Permalink




Immediately thought of gaslighting as I read the article. Great comments.

Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the victim and delegitimize the victim's belief.[1][2]


Disqus commenting software also gaslights... I mean shadowbans.

<B>Introducing Shadow Banning and Timeouts</B>

<B>Shadow Banning: A discreet method of banning the most troublesome users such as trolls and spammers and stop them from coming back with new accounts.</B>

A traditional ban is enough to stop most troublesome users. However, some communities struggle to deal with a small group of troublesome users who keep coming back with new accounts. When dealing with these users, a traditional ban is not sufficient to deter this behavior. Shadow Banning addresses the issue of persistent spamming and trolling by allowing moderators to discreetly banning users without their knowledge.

<B>Shadow Banned users will be able to continue posting normally. However, their posts will not be visible to other readers.</B>


I've been banned for months now, since my comments have been flagged as spam. don't have access to the tick box to unflag or alter Disqus that my comments aren't spam.


They're all doing it.



In reply to by macholatte

stampman Gaius Frakkin'… Sat, 07/28/2018 - 13:05 Permalink

"It's more like time for a Congressional hearing on the matter."

More like time for those people to be marched up to the wall and eliminated.

They are doing this with other things too!  If you have ordered something from a large 'connected' corporate merchant and got hosed around badly, ask yourself if the company you ordered it from just might be using a Social Credit Score algorithm to hinder you from doing business, waste lots of your time and hold your payment money up.

Check out this page about Home Depot's delivery ally Nonstop Delivery Service (NSD)--a company created in 2004 with its HQ in Chantilly, VA.  I had to conclude that NSD is only part shipping company--and also part political operation.…

In reply to by Gaius Frakkin'…

Chupacabra-322 stampman Sat, 07/28/2018 - 13:36 Permalink

The Left lost what it thought was a sure-thing election. There is now no assured 16-year Obama-Clinton regnum that would complete what the Obamas had called the final “fundamental transformation” of the United States. It cannot accept that it blew certain victory. A huge fundraising advantage, a toady media, massive defections of Republican establishment intellectuals and pundits, the lack of prior military or political experience of candidate Donald Trump, and a popular vote plurality all proved for naught. The unimaginable then became all too real.


The Obama apparat and the proverbial deep state never imagined Trump could win and thus to ensure that he would not just be defeated but humiliated, vied to use the power of government to destroy the Trump candidacy.

The National Security Council was weaponized and thus unmasked the names of surveilled Americans and leaked their names to the press to undermine the Trump campaign. The Department of Justice was weaponized to ensure Hillary Clinton was exonerated for her misdeeds concerning her email server and quid pro quo collusion with a variety of foreign and domestic influence peddlers and buyers. The FBI and CIA were weaponized to subvert the Trump campaign, by peddling an unverified smear dossier, paid for by Hillary Clinton, by implanting informants into the Trump campaign, and by undermining a FISA court through dishonest presentations of evidence for warrants to spy on American citizens.

All such behavior was assumed to ensure the landslide Clinton victory and thus would be seen as sacrifice beyond the call of duty to be rewarded by a President Clinton not as illegal behavior to be punished during a Trump administration. And as a result, the more culpability that was exposed, the more the culpable went on the offensive—on the theory that constant attack is the best defense against their own criminal liability. Think of the fears of John Brennan behind bars.


Democrats privately acknowledge that Obama wrecked the Democratic Party—losing Congress, the presidency, state and local offices, and now the Supreme Court. But they must praise the forces of that wreckage and seek to trump them by becoming the party of hyper-identity politics. In other words, the Democrats know what sort of agenda might bring them back into power as it did in 1992. But they feel that Clintonesque cure is worse than the disease of being in the purer political wilderness without power.

So, for now, they rant, they rave, and they stew, accepting that they cannot do what might save them and therefore they only do more of what is destroying them. Out of that lose-lose dilemma was birthed Trump hatred. Without a persuasive argument, progressives came up with the mantra that Trump is a traitor, and that all they needed to do was to explain to supposedly dense voters that their current economic renaissance was actually jackbooted National Socialism.

How far will the Left go? I fear that we have seen nothing yet.


They really thought Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Seditious Psychopath Hillary Clinton would win.

And, with it. Complete destruction of Conservatism, Libertarian Values, & Ideology.

Her Crimes would have never been uncovered or bought out into the open as we’re witnessing.


Much was at stake. Everything was lost.

The Presidency LOST.

Weaponized Intelligence Community with Agents, Assets & Operatives. LOST.

Complicit, Criminal Loyal CIA, FBI, DOJ. LOST.

Supreme Court. LOST.


No doubt, the censorship & Gas Lighting would have been turned on fully.

And, with it Tyrannical Lawlessness.

In reply to by stampman

Faeriedust Chupacabra-322 Sat, 07/28/2018 - 18:54 Permalink

Trump Derangement Syndrome is real.  I used to have friends on DKos.  I  used to enjoy hanging out on DKos.  It was people at DKos who provided me the links to Automatic Earth, Naked Capitalism, and eventually ZH.  All those people are gone.  They've been banned for "Conspiracy Theory", otherwise known as "not towing the Party line".  Day after day I scan the new stories at Dkos now.  Post after post is nothing but recycled Russophobia, Trump derangement, or screaming over border enforcement.  And there are no more than a third as many active posts than there used to be.  On a Saturday ten years ago, posts would have cycled off the list of "recent" four or five times between 8 am and pm.  Today there are still posts on the recent list that were put up yesterday.  I find myself accidentally trying to reply to things that were written three days ago.

The Democrats have collectively lost their marbles.  Losing to what they considered an insignificant candidate when they thought they had it made has caused them to become completely unhinged.  The slightest question to their received wisdom is now a threat to their personal existences.  They can't have an honest discussion because discussion requires accepting that your opponent MIGHT have a valid point of view.  They have lost, and their safe space in the palaces of DC has been invaded by rednecks and aspiring fascists.  They are besieged, and they are reacting with panicked rejection of any and all opposition, even the most banal.  They can't deal with failure, and they can't deal with the truth that it's their own fault.  They have become delusional.  It's getting to the point where if they don't win this "Blue Wave" they expect in November -- and that's quite possible -- they will become so rabid that the only solution will be to put them down as humanely as possible.

In reply to by Chupacabra-322

FreedomWriter stampman Sat, 07/28/2018 - 18:00 Permalink

It is more like time for a Congressional hearing on the matter. The Dems already had their little witch hunt trying to convince the social media companies to restrict freedom of speech. Now its our turn. Unfortunately, we are now going to restrict their freedoms instead. Can you say Anti-trust and Chapter 11, children? Russian meddling, my ass.

In reply to by stampman

DjangoCat RagaMuffin Sat, 07/28/2018 - 12:40 Permalink

"if FB, Twitter, etc had adopted the simple policy of anything goes under the First Amendment, they would be worth even more NOW............."

I don't think that their real purpose is to make money for shareholders.  I think it is more sinister, their real purpose is to exercise social control.

IntelQ, the CIA venture fund, was very close to the creators of Google and met with them regularly during the development phase of the project.  I have no related info on Facebook and Twitter, but given the data gathering and social control features of both, it would not surprise me that the intel services are closely allied with the people at the top of these companies.

The real question is why, under a Trump regime, these intel nasties are still in position to fuck with our minds.  There is a lot of swamp draining left to be done.

In reply to by RagaMuffin

junction Arne Saknussemm Sat, 07/28/2018 - 12:23 Permalink

Shadowbanning is an example of how we are all being gaslighted by our Rothschild rulers.  The people in charge of news, people like Les Moonves, turn out to be sexual predators who covered up other degenerates like Harvey Weinstein.  When Sam Zell took over and then bankrupted the Tribune Company, most of the executives he hired were, like him, low lives who thought nothing of using their position to obtain cheap sex.  So, now we find out that Facebook, Google, Twitter and all the rest function like the Stasi secret police.  Meanwhile, no one anywhere connects the dots to report on the skyrocketing death and disability rates in the USA across the board, from infant mortality to autism to sudden, unexplained deaths.

In reply to by Arne Saknussemm

SocratesSolutions Arne Saknussemm Sat, 07/28/2018 - 12:51 Permalink

You're going to have to say who "they" are now 911'd cows in America. You're going to have to say it specifically as the problem is forever removed from the World Stage. You're going to have to decide to either be murdered cows in America—or men and women as Zionist Jews are forever removed from the World Stage. 

It is the Zionist Jews who have ruined and murdered your country. These Zionist Jew gate contraptions, are meant to herd you, you 911'd cows in America: Twitter, Facebook, U Tube—need we go on? No, we don't. The time has come to take down every single such gate. There will be no more Zionist Jew gate contraptions in America—or in the world when this is over. 

Look at that lady who has to go at U Tube, Susan Wojcicki. She has 410 million dollars. Why? Then she says she always has her finger on the "demonitizing" button for any cows in America that might want to act like men and women. Why? Why have you let the cult of sick Satanic Judaic murdering mafia Zionist Jews do this, oh you cows in America? You 911'd cows in America. It is time to completely demonitize this Zionist lady at U Tube. Remove her and remove her money. Remove all of U Tube also. Remove all of the money from the Zionist Jews and all of the gate contraptions. Permanently. This is what is coming. 

In reply to by Arne Saknussemm

Arne Saknussemm SocratesSolutions Sat, 07/28/2018 - 13:24 Permalink

While I understand where you are coming from, I actually don't think I have to say who they are at all. By doing so I easily fall into their trap, where they can label me with some perjorative that helps them discredit what I'm saying. Much better just out their actions until sufficient critical mass is established to safely put them out of our misery...apart from the fact that it's not one easily labeled group; rather a morass of group-think and vested interests that have established themselves at the top of the pyramid...

In reply to by SocratesSolutions

Free This wide angle tree Sat, 07/28/2018 - 12:18 Permalink

We FANG'd some people!

We are all gonna take a hit, and need to realize this, Trump is fighting for US, even the world, it is too bad some folks cannot see this. But the freebeees have GOT to stop.

Gov't is the PROBLEM, not the SOLUTION!

Give me some of that good stuff, baby!

Cut off all forms of welfare, queens and .corp, and provide for those that are truly are in need. Disabled (truly) and retarded, downs, etc.

I propose we start a movement called "civilanism" or "civilism", where we have NO RULERS, NO KINGS, NO PRESIDENTS, NO EMIRES, NO MULLAHS, no holier than thou bullshit artists - throw the yoke of .gov off WORLDWIDE!

Arm EVERYONE, and we will have polite societies! Ban currency and go to bartertown if necessary. I don't have all the answers, but it is a fucking START!

This BULLSHIT we have endured is enough already! If a person fucks up, they lose their life! Pure rule of law!!!

I know this sounds contradictory, but we have a problem, I am offering a solution!

In reply to by wide angle tree

Cloud9.5 wide angle tree Sat, 07/28/2018 - 12:58 Permalink

You do realize that if you disenfranchise some folks, you segregate the public forum.  By doing that, you have effectively relegated the factions to their own echo chambers.  In those chambers any pretext of reasoned opposition will be silenced and the radical voices will take over. If you want a civil war, the best way to attain that is by ending the public discourse.

In reply to by wide angle tree

I Am Jack's Ma… Sat, 07/28/2018 - 12:15 Permalink

Trump cant block users because his being prez means its a public forum for 1st Amendment purposes  (I think that’s it basically)


So - and this seems unasked:  if twitter prevents a politician fron tweeting, or shadowbans based on point of view...  why isnt that them violating the 1st Amendment?


Apart from the FEC claim, does he have a 1st Amendment claim?

milo_hoffman Sat, 07/28/2018 - 12:16 Permalink

Why don't you just STOP USING IT!???!  If they want to only be a place for less than 1/2 of the population let them.  They will only get 1/2 the advertising rates, and their profits will be cut in 1/2 as well.

If Twitter wants to lose 50% of its income, so be it.  Help them do it.  Will be interesting to see if the shareholders approve of that strategy or not, but I don't give a shit, I lost interest in twitter about the time the mainstream media showed up years ago.

BarkingCat milo_hoffman Sat, 07/28/2018 - 13:07 Permalink

I have written it multiple times that Trump all by himself could deal Twitter a huge blow by simply sending 1 tweet - "This is my last tweet. From now on you can follow me in Gab".

Then he would simply stop using Twitter and use Gab instead. Chances are that might be enough to put Twitter out of business if all conservatives and libertarians follow his lead.

Twitter's earnings are based on user metrics. If they suddenly lost even 20% of their users that would tank their income stream and the stock price. Meanwhile they still have their fixed costs which means a huge burn rate through whatever reserves they have.


There is also the high likelihood that even those who are against Trump but follow him because they are the opposition,  might start using Gab and drift away from Twitter.

At one point in time AOL had a huge subscriber base.  Before AOL (and wide Internet usage) there was Compuserve, where anyone important in the tech world had to have an account.

Let's not forget MySpace.  Tech world is littered with formally dominant companies.

Let's make Twitter one of them.

In reply to by milo_hoffman

FreedomWriter BarkingCat Sat, 07/28/2018 - 18:20 Permalink

even better, Trump should put his tweets on both GAB and Twitter. He can tell the public it allows him to reach a bigger audience (one that isn't censored, wink, wink). Jack Dorsey and his fellow communist progtards will collectively shit their pants.

People who are banned will also know there is a choice. Let the market decide. If that doesn't work, unleash the anti-trust hounds. 

In reply to by BarkingCat