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Rep. Matt Gaetz Claims that Twitter is Targeting Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows and Himself

Republican U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida just directly attacked Twitter, claiming that they are “deliberately targeting , , , & me to be .”

Gaetz who has been one of President Trump’s closest allies within Congress, went on to question, “Is it only a coincidence that these allegations would arise the week following my heated exchange with Twitter Executives before the Judiciary Committee??”

A Twitter shadow ban takes place when Twitter puts a user’s account in virtual jail, continuing to allow that user to post, but preventing those posts from showing up in search results.  It’s essentially a punishment that they hand out for various reasons.  One of the most common reasons that Twitter elects to shadow ban an account is because that account appears to exhibit automated activity.

The problem with Gaetz’s assertion, however, is that Twitter has been shadow banning thousands of accounts per day (if not more) for well over a year now.  These bans have spanned over different political parties as well as individuals who have both praised and attacked Twitter with their comments.  The claim by Gaetz is completely baseless, and like other users who are not provided a reason for their punishment, Gaetz also certainly has no proof of these allegation.

When VICE News asked Twitter why only conservative Republicans appear to be affected and not liberal Democrats, the spokesperson for Twitter said, “I’d emphasize that our technology is based on account *behavior* not the content of Tweets.”

The spokesperson also directed VICE to a blog post made a few months ago explaining this in more detail.

Just last week, my own Twitter account was shadow banned for “exhibiting automated activity”, even though I never use any automated software.  For those who know me, I’m certainly not a “conservative Republican”. It appears as though Twitter mostly uses automated software themselves when issuing a ban, as it would be almost impossible to monitor every single Twitter account manually, given the size of their staff.

Twitter, as a U.S. company, has the right to ban, shadow ban, suspend and/or remove accounts as they desire, so Gaetz’s attempt to discredit them seemingly is just another baseless hit job similar to the ones he has taken against various politicians and FBI agents over the past several months.

Ed Krassenstein
  

Ed Krassenstein has been a journalist and editor for various news organizations ranging from politics to technology and entrepreneurship for the past 15+ years.

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