Twitter Denies Shadow Banning

"Shadow Banning" was a big topic at yesterday's Senate Intelligence Committee hearings with Facebook and Twitter. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey denied the claim that tweets are suppressed based on political ideology. But he did admit that candidates' tweets were affected in search results.

In a blog post, Twitter executives explained the definition of shadow banning and denied the practice. The post also explains how search results are ranked:

  • Tweets from people you’re interested in should be ranked highly
  • Tweets that are popular are likely to be interesting and should be higher ranked
  • Tweets from bad-faith actors who intend to manipulate or divide the conversation should be ranked lower

The executives confirm a technical issue that prevented Republican politicians tweets from showing up in searches, but they write, "some Democratic politicians were not properly showing up within search auto-suggestions as result of this issue." Like Dorsey, they don't specify numbers affected on each side.

Cover image source.


  • Assess Dorsey's response to Representative Joe Barton's questions. How well did he respond? How do you assess his delivery skills?
  • How well does Twitter take responsibility in the blog post?
  • How well does the blog post explain the situation and defend the search results?