President Donald Trump attacked his favorite social media platform, criticizing Twitter for reducing the visibility of certain prominent Republicans in a practice referred to as “shadow banning.”
“Twitter “SHADOW BANNING” prominent Republicans. Not good. We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once! Many complaints,” Trump tweeted this morning.
Conservatives are growing increasingly vocal in their attacks against social media platforms for allegedly suppressing their views. This latest flashpoint follows a Vice News report Wednesday that prominent Republicans were no longer appearing among the names automatically suggested in a drop-down menu when users perform a search on Twitter.
Those affected included RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel, Republican Reps. Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz, along with Andrew Surabian, Donald Trump Jr.’s spokesman and former special assistant to the president, Vice reported. The profiles did appear when conducting a full search.
Twitter appears to have made an adjustment to its platform overnight to no longer restrict the visibility of these prominent Republicans.
But Twitter’s actions — reportedly taken as part of its efforts to clean up discourse on the platform — are bound to reinforce perceptions of liberal bias.
The platform follows months of efforts by Twitter to tamp down on bots, trolls and misinformation. Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported that Twitter had suspended as many as 70 million accounts between May and June of this year in its crackdown on suspicious activity.
CEO Jack Dorsey said in March that Twitter was committed to helping “increase the collective health, openness and civility of public conversation.”
Dorsey made his first visit to Washington, D.C., this spring, meeting with high-profile legislators to discuss Twitter’s work in protecting data privacy and the health of public discourse.