Twitter does not discriminate against conservative viewpoints. That’s the story the social media giant desperately wants to tell — from their CEO Jack Dorsey’s interviews, to their employees tasked with outreach to conservatives in their Washington offices. Literally, it’s true. The complete picture, however, is less flattering to the social media giant.
Why are conservatives complaining? About a year ago, many of us on the political right saw impressions of our tweets drop precipitously — sometimes in the millions per month — while follower counts were increasing or remaining stagnant. With our visibility on the platform reduced, our ability to grow our Twitter presence has flatlined completely. Because of Twitter’s importance to the political debate in America, this is no trivial matter. Our ability to influence the debate in real-time has been squelched.
While it does not outright censor expressions of conservative views, Twitter has admitted to using a complex and opaque Quality Filter algorithm that has the effect of disproportionately restricting the voices of conservatives under the guise of limiting harmful or abusive users. Many Twitter users refer to this throttling as a “shadowban.” Rather than policing content per se — which would open Twitter to credible accusations of explicit viewpoint discrimination — the company focuses on accounts with certain behaviors that would trigger attention.
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