If you’re on Twitter, you know that there’s a lot of “shadow banning” and throttling right now of conservative accounts, and people couldn’t figure out what’s going on and everyone is frustrated beyond belief. It’s like when Elon first took over, everything was great, and right-wing accounts were flourishing, but after tat wore off, everything went back to normal – meaning all conservative voices were silenced.
Elon said he was looking into it, and he did, and what we’ve found out is remarkable and diabolical.
Conservative pundit Dave Rubin visited Elon at Twitter HQ in San Fransisco, and was given the blessing by Elon to share what’s actually going on.
He wrote a Twitter thread about it, and it’s absolutely fascinating.
Here’s what Dave said:
Spent last two days at Twitter in SF talking to engineers, product managers and yes, @elonmusk
. Learned a ton about what’s going on. Before I share, want to note that after couple hour meeting I asked Elon what I could share and he said, “anything that’s true.”
“A Fractal Rube Goldberg Machine.” That’s what @elonmusk called Twitter. As they fix the code more problems arise. A delicate balance he likened to a Jenga tower. One wrong move the whole thing collapses. They’re working nonstop, and both times I met him were after midnight.
I met with several engineers who were doing a deep dive on why my account and so many others seem to be absolutely crushed after that two or three week return to normalcy when Elon first took over. They still have more questions than answers, but they did learn a bunch of stuff.
Accounts aren’t just hit with labels that are obvious to insiders. They now found more “secret” labels which are causing shadowbans. My account was hit with all three; “Recent abuse strike,” “Recent misinformation strike”, “Recent suspension strike.”
It’s unclear so far what these strikes actually do, but for sure they suppress views and recommendations, they are trying to figure out to what extent. I also had many innocuous tweets labeled NSFW or NSFA (not safe for ads) which affect visibility in the timeline.
Also, there’s an entire KeyWord database so that machine learning makes sure not to promote violence, porn etc., but it’s a mess of overreaching words. Literally the word “gay” was on the KeyWord list which would make you not advertiser friendly and harm the tweet in the algo.
Backing up for a sec, they found the “recent suspension strike” on my account most interesting because it was fro July 2022, when I was suspended for calling out @jordanbpeterson’s unjust suspension. So though suspension was reversed the action on the account remained.
Elon was bringing people in and out constantly and seems to be aware of pretty much every issue. He thinks maybe the entire code has to be torn down and start from scratch. At the end last night he said that the whole situation is “a flaming dumpster rolling down the street.”
So I assure you they are aware of the problems and Elon and engineers are there all night trying to untie this crazy knot. Some changes they’ve made, like the “For You” tab, have confused people and hurt engagement for accounts who have gotten the NSFA label without knowing.
They also don’t know for sure why things got so much better once Elon made the acquisition and why it seems far worse now. Some is probably related to excitement around Elon himself, which also coincided with World Cup, but that doesn’t explain why it feels so off right now.
On a personal note Elon is funny as hell, laughs a ton and it’s just really obvious he cares about Twitter because he cares about free speech and the bigger problems facing the world. He doesn’t need this headache, he chose it.
Also huge shout out to @davidsacks who is helping Elon clean up this mess because he believes in the fight for free speech as much as Elon does. And massive thanks to the engineers who iopened up their computers, showed me literally everything I asked for, and were total pros.
Oh, one either thing for now… Elon really lit up when we talked about the shifting political landscape and how anyone non-woke is now “far right.” That notion is deeply connected to how screwy thing got at Twitter and he’s working to fix it despite the huge challenges ahead.
And frankly they gotta get that company out of SF…
What’s also really crazy now having seen under the hood is that Jack Dorsey repeatedly said they don’t shadowban. The entire machine behind Twitter is designed to shadowban. It’s almost as if that was the primary goal rather than the product itself.
Spent last two days at Twitter in SF talking to engineers, product managers and yes, @elonmusk. Learned a ton about what’s going on. Before I share, want to note that after couple hour meeting I asked Elon what I could share and he said, “anything that’s true.”
— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) January 26, 2023
Elon responded to what Dave said with this:
So, there you have it. Twitter basically embedded “conservative censorship” throughout their entire code. That’s how hell-bent they were on making sure we didn’t have a voice.
Honestly, that should be criminal, and Jack Dorsey and Parag Agrawal should be tossed in the clink. How much election interference did they engage in, by doing this?
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