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Elon Musk confirms political candidates were subject to ‘shadow-banning’ by Twitter


Twitter CEO Elon Musk confirmed Friday that political candidates in the United States and abroad were subject to “shadow-banning” by Twitter while running for office or seeking re-election.

“So here’s a question for [Elon Musk] and [Bari Weiss]: were any political candidates — either in the U.S. or elsewhere — subject to shadowbanning while they were running for office or seeking re-election?” tweeted conservative commentator Ian Miles Cheong.

“Yes,” Musk simply replied, but he did not provide detail on any specific political candidates who were subject to shadow-banning.

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According to The Associated Press, the act of “shadow-banning” is a way to “seal” an account in a bubble without their knowledge, rather than outright disabling or blocking it. This allows the user of the “shadow-banned” account to still post freely, but other users won’t see their posted content.

On Thursday, Musk said that upcoming changes to Twitter’s platform would identify whether anyone had been “shadow-banned,” as well as what they could do to rectify that status.

“Twitter is working on a software update that will show your true account status, so you know clearly if you’ve been shadowbanned, the reason why and how to appeal,” he tweeted.

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Just hours earlier, Musk shared the latest release of the “Twitter Files” through journalist Bari Weiss, outlining internal documentation showing how the company would “build blacklists” of certain users or tweets, especially from conservative figures.

The “blacklists” included a “Trends Blacklist,” preventing tweets from trending, a “Search Blacklist” and a “Do Not Amplify” setting.

In contrast to the documentation showing the “blacklists,” former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey denied in a Sept. 2018 congressional hearing that the company censored conservatives.

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Weiss teased that there would be a third installment of the “Twitter Files,” but it’s unclear when it might be released.

Fox News’ Lawrence Richard contributed to this report.