President Donald Trump vowed today to investigate Twitter for their practice of “shadow banning” Republicans and conservatives, restricting their visibility in search results.
“Not good. We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once!” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Many complaints.”
The social media giant came under fire from Republicans after the issue was first reported by Vice News.
Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel; several conservative Republican congressmen, including Rep. Devin Nunes; and Andrew Surabian, the spokesman for Donald Trump Jr, were not appearing in Twitter’s auto-populated drop-down search results.
Vice noted that top Democrats were not being similarly “shadow banned.”
Republican Matt Gaetz told The Daily Caller News Foundation he is considering filing a complaint with the Federal Election Commission.
“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,” McDaniel tweeted.
McDaniel’s account subsequently reappeared in the search results.
Twitter product lead Kayvon Beykpour took to the platform in an attempt to further break down Twitter policy. “To be clear, our behavioural ranking doesn’t make judgements based on political views or the substance of tweets,” he wrote. “Some accounts weren’t being auto-suggested even when people were searching for their specific name. Our usage of the behaviour signals within search was causing this to happen & making search results seem inaccurate. We’re making a change today that will improve this.”
It is good news that Twitter will have to change and be fair to all sides. Social media sites should not be censoring people for their views – debate helps us to learn from others.