Post all you want. Ain’t no one going to see your deplorable thoughts.
(From The Washington Free Beacon)
…but Twitter soon after put out a statement denying that it was “shadow banning” users, the phrase VICE used. “People are asking us if we shadow ban. We do not…” the tech company writes. “And we certainly don’t shadow ban based on political viewpoints or ideology.”
But then the statement contains this admission of something Twitter has long been accused of. “We do not shadow ban. You are always able to see the tweets from accounts you follow (although you may have to do more work to find them, like go directly to their profile).” [Emphasis added]
Uh, call me crazy, but that parenthetical sounds a lot like an admission that Twitter effectively shadow bans users…
…By tagging or replying to someone, you place yourself in their mentions. By using a hashtag, you make your tweet visible to people who are interested in searching for that subject.
If, as Twitter admits, I can willingly choose to follow someone and not see any of their tweets unless I actively seek out their profile (and after their name not showing up in the search recommendations), then for all intents and purposes they have been banned from participating in Twitter the way 99.9% of users use the platform. Call it a florp, call it a bifworz, call it what you please. If a person is de facto banned from joining the conversation and isn’t informed of that fact, “shadow ban” seems like a perfectly fine shorthand to me, prescriptivism and pedantry be damned.