The days of secret shadowbanning on Twitter are over – at least according to Elon Musk. On Friday, Musk tweeted that Twitter is “working on a software update that will show your true account status, so you know clearly if you’ve been shadowbanned, the reason why and how to appeal.” Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) Shadowbanning is a controversial practice of making certain posts or users on social media less visible to others. On Twitter, it rose to prominence in 2018, after reports that Twitter secretly shadowbans Republicans, which Twitter co-founder and then-CEO Jack Dorsey denied. Musk’s announcement comes after the second batch of “Twitter Files,” which are internal company communications made public by none other than Musk himself (via outside journalists). Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) This particular batch of files focuses on Twitter’s “secret blacklists,” claiming 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.” Examples of accounts that were shadowbanned include those of right-wing talk show host Dan Bongino, conservative activist Charlie Kirk, and Stanford professor, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya. Musk shared no details on how the “true account status” feature would be implemented, nor when it could see the light of day.
Notably, the news comes shortly after Instagram implemented a feature that shows users with professional accounts whether their content is eligible to be recommended to non-followers, along with the option to request an additional review of their content if they think Instagram made a mistake.