Saturday, March 2, 2024

Lights, Elon, Action! Here’s what Elon Musk revealed in the Twitter Files: Part 2

Twitter Files Part 2 suggests there was a secret group at Twitter that used to take decisions like shadow-banning high-profile users.

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On Friday, Elon Musk revealed the second part of the Twitter Files. A few days before that, Musk retweeted a series of tweets that uncovered how Twitter went out of the way to suppress a story related to Hunter Biden, son of Joe Biden.

This time, Elon Musk retweeted a series of tweets by Bari Weiss, an independent journalist, which contained internal documents, communications, and screenshots suggesting there was a secret group in the company that took controversial decisions.

Elon Musk retweeted a series of tweets by Bari Weiss, an independent journalist, which contained internal documents, communications, and screenshots suggesting there was a secret group in the company that took controversial decisions.

This secret group included Vijaya Gadde, the former head of legal and public policy, Yoel Roth, the former global head of trust and safety, ex-CEOs Parag Agrawal and Jack Dorsey, etc.

The investigation conducted by Bari Weiss reveals that there was a secret group in the company that consisted of the above-mentioned people and this group was out of reach of the moderators and the standard process of dealing with violations of policy. The group also shadow-banned high-profile accounts and termed it VF or “Visibility Filtering.” Through this, the group limited the reach of the tweets and updates from that account and also blocked them from appearing on the trending page.

The journalist said in a tweet, ” ‘VF’ refers to Twitter’s control over user visibility. It used VF to block searches of individual users; to limit the scope of a particular tweet’s discoverability; to block select users’ posts from ever appearing on the “trending” page; and from inclusion in hashtag searches.”

The platform always denied shadow-banning accounts but the journalist also supported this with screenshots that displayed how many accounts were labeled internally to limit their reach on the platform.

She also pointed out many right-wing thinkers were on the “Trends Blacklist” or the “Search Blacklist” to prevent their posts or tweets from trending on the platform. In short, the biggest and most secretive decisions were taken in this group.

After the release of the first part of the Twitter Files, Jack Dorsey challenged Elon Musk to release everything without a filter. He said in a tweet, “If the goal is transparency to build trust, why not just release everything without filter and let people judge for themselves?” To this, Elon Musk responded that a lot of the data was hidden from him too. He clarified that Dorsey didn’t have any role to play in this.

We definitely have more parts on the way and Twitter is becoming interesting. Musk has already released Part 3 of Twitter Files which talks about the removal of Donald Trump.

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