The second batch of the so-called “Twitter Files” released by Elon Musk to independent journalist Bari Weiss offers conclusive proof that the social media company has for years censored conservative voices using a technique dubbed “shadow banning.”
If you’re like the majority of American adults, you don’t use Twitter. But you should still care about what’s happening on the site, because it functions like the nervous system of American media, especially political media.
Because almost every American journalist or media producer uses Twitter on a daily basis to gather and spread information, the site has an outsized impact on the news that eventually comes out of your television, radio, or smartphone.
Although conservatives have long suspected that social media companies have been putting their fingers on the scale to help popularize left-wing voices while censoring conservative ones, now we have conclusive proof.
So what is shadow banning?
In a nutshell, some left-wing geek in San Francisco pushes a couple of buttons on Twitter’s backend and suddenly no one can see when a conservative activist tweets out about a school board policy. Suddenly Tucker Carlson’s posts show up less frequently even if you’ve chosen to follow him. Suddenly Daily Wire stories about public hospitals butchering kids in the name of “gender affirming medicine” disappear.
Shadow banning allows pink-haired cat-loving vegan liberal hipsters to have far-reaching control over the flow of information to normal people across the country.
The sinister part of the censorship is that users aren’t even notified. If you were shadow banned, you’d never know that content you were producing wasn’t even being put in front of social media users who have freely chosen to see your content.
The big picture here is that left-wing forces have enjoyed a more than 10-year monopoly controlling the modern digital public square, casting out conservative news and opinion while elevating progressives. That monopoly, at least when it comes to Twitter, has been broken by Elon Musk. But Twitter, even though it’s so influential for American news media, is but a small part of the online information ecosystem.
We’ll never know what previous elections might have looked like with free and fair digital town squares, but we can guess.
You can read more about the Twitter files here.