What can be done to assure free speech rights for conservatives on social media? Watch Gary Lane’s interview with MRC’s Dan Gainor for more.
President Trump threatened social media giant Twitter with an investigation Thursday over the reported "shadow banning" of prominent conservatives.
"Twitter 'SHADOW BANNING' prominent Republicans. Not good. We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once! Many complaints," Trump tweeted.
Twitter "SHADOW BANNING" prominent Republicans. Not good. We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once! Many complaints.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2018
Vice News reported this latest shadow banning less than a week after a House committee questioned the heads of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube over the censorship of conservatives.
"Twitter is limiting the visibility of prominent Republicans in search results — a technique known as 'shadow banning' — in what it says is a side effect of its attempts to improve the quality of discourse on the platform," Vice reported.
It said that Republican Party chair Ronna McDaniel, conservative Republican congressmen including Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan, and Matt Gaetz, as well as Donald Trump, Jr.'s spokesman, no longer showed up in Twitter's auto-populated search box when their names were typed, but that prominent Democrats were easy to find.
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) July 25, 2018
Dan Gainor, Vice President of Business and Culture at the Media Research Center.said the shadow banning of conservatievs did not surprise him.
"We did a major research project earlier this year looking at the top social media companies and we found at the time that Twitter was the worst.”
He explained that the controversy is getting the attention of liberals as well as conservatives.
"Remember, this wasn’t a story that was broken by conservative media, it was actually broken by Vice Media much to their credit and so, even liberal outlets are figuring out conservatives are being mistreated on social media.”
Vice has since reported that Twitter adjusted its platform after the outcry generated by their story "to no longer limit the visibility of some prominent Republicans in its search results."
Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter's product lead, denied that the company intentionally targeted conservatives but that it was trying to improve the "health" of conversations on Twitter.
To be clear, our behavioral ranking doesn't make judgements based on political views or the substance of tweets. We recently publicly testified to Congress on this topic https://t.co/Zk4DL7Q3hq
— Kayvon Beykpour (@kayvz) July 25, 2018
But an undercover investigation by Project Veritas showed eight current and former Twitter employees on camera explaining how Twitter censors and bans conservative users and content.
RNC Chair McDaniel told Vice, "The notion that social media companies would suppress certain political points of view should concern every American. Twitter owes the public answers to what's really going on."