A new report on Thursday said that engineers at social media giant Twitter have been developing algorithms aimed at suppressing opposing — mostly conservative — political viewpoints.
Undercover video gathered by operatives for a group known as Project Veritas quotes Steven Pierre, a Twitter engineer who discusses “shadow banning,” adding that “it’s going to ban a way of talking.”
Meanwhile, a former Twitter software engineer named Abhinav Vadrevu also talked about shadow banning: “They just think that no one is engaging with their content, when in reality, no one is seeing it.”
Also, former Twitter Content Review Agent Mo Norai explained the banning process: “If it was a pro-Trump thing and I’m anti-Trump… I banned his whole account… it’s at your discretion.”
When asked if the banning was an unwritten rule, Norai responded: “Very. A lot of unwritten rules… It was never written it was more said.”
Olinda Hassan, the Policy Manager for Twitter Trust and Safety explained, “We’re trying to ‘down rank’… shitty people to not show up,” and, “we’re working [that] on right now.”
“Shadow banning” is to be used to stealthily target political views, said a former Twitter engineer who added, “That’s a thing.” And censorship of certain political views will be aided by artificial intelligence — or “machine learning,” one engineer added.
Parnay Singh, Twitter’s Direct Messaging Engineer, discussed machine learning algorithms. “You have like five thousand keywords to describe a redneck…the majority of it are for Republicans.”
Twitter Senior Network Security Engineer Clay Haynes said on video that Twitter is “more than happy to help the Department of Justice with their little [President Donald Trump] investigation.” [source]