Elon Musk Blows Whistle on Twitter’s Secret Blacklists: Dan Bongino Was on ‘Search Blacklist’

Elon Musk’s latest “Twitter Files” drop has exposed the company’s “secret blacklists.”

The censorship efforts seem to have targeted prominent conservatives, with major restrictions placed on countless accounts.

Among the files is the revelation that Twitter had placed Fox News star Dan Bongino on a “search blacklist” to prevent other users from finding his account on Twitter.

Independent journalist Bari Weiss was given access to Twitter’s internal files by the company’s new boss Elon Musk.

As expected, “Part Two” is just as explosive as the first part of “The Twitter Files” released last week.

“Part Two” of the Twitter suppression files was published Thursday and is titled: “Twitter’s Secret Blacklists.”

Weiss detailed the findings in a long Twitter thread.

She wrote:

“A new #TwitterFiles investigation reveals that teams of Twitter employees build blacklists, prevent disfavored tweets from trending, and actively limit the visibility of entire accounts or even trending topics—all in secret, without informing users.

“Take, for example, Stanford’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya (@DrJBhattacharya) who argued that Covid lockdowns would harm children. Twitter secretly placed him on a ‘Trends Blacklist,’ which prevented his tweets from trending.

“Or consider the popular right-wing talk show host, Dan Bongino (@dbongino), who at one point was slapped with a ‘Search Blacklist.’

“Twitter set the account of conservative activist Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) to ‘Do Not Amplify.’

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“Twitter denied that it does such things.

“In 2018, Twitter’s Vijaya Gadde (then Head of Legal Policy and Trust) and Kayvon Beykpour (Head of Product) said: ‘We do not shadow ban.’

“They added: ‘And we certainly don’t shadow ban based on political viewpoints or ideology.’

“What many people call ‘shadow banning,’ Twitter executives and employees call ‘Visibility Filtering’ or ‘VF.’

“Multiple high-level sources confirmed its meaning.

“‘Think about visibility filtering as being a way for us to suppress what people see to different levels. It’s a very powerful tool,’ one senior Twitter employee told us.

“‘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.

“All without users’ knowledge.

“‘We control visibility quite a bit. And we control the amplification of your content quite a bit. And normal people do not know how much we do,’ one Twitter engineer told us.

“Two additional Twitter employees confirmed.

“The group that decided whether to limit the reach of certain users was the Strategic Response Team – Global Escalation Team, or SRT-GET.

“It often handled up to 200 ‘cases’ a day.

“But there existed a level beyond official ticketing, beyond the rank-and-file moderators following the company’s policy on paper.

“That is the ‘Site Integrity Policy, Policy Escalation Support,’ known as ‘SIP-PES.’

“This secret group included Head of Legal, Policy, and Trust (Vijaya Gadde), the Global Head of Trust & Safety (Yoel Roth), subsequent CEOs Jack Dorsey and Parag Agrawal, and others.

“This is where the biggest, most politically sensitive decisions got made.

“‘Think high follower account, controversial,’ another Twitter employee told us.

“For these ‘there would be no ticket or anything.'”

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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