Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has come under increased scrutiny in recent weeks over his company’s standards for censoring users, particularly regarding the company’s apparent political bias in favor of the Left. NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch added more fuel to the fire on Monday by tweeting out an example of what @TwitterSupport deemed language that it said was not a violation of its “abusive behavior” rules.
“The only way these people learn is if it effects them directly,” wrote one leftist Loesch critic. “So if Dana Loesch has to have her children murdered before she’ll understand, I guess that’s what needs to happen.”
Loesch alerted Twitter about the alarming tweet, but soon learned that the social media support team, after reviewing her report “carefully,” concluded that “there was no violation of Twitter Rules against abusive behavior.”
“Apparently this doesn’t violate @TwitterSupport TOS,” wrote Loesch. “I know several conservatives who have been suspended for far less.”
As Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw notes, the response from Twitter demonstrates that the company doesn’t just use an algorithm to flag tweets, it also has a team dedicated to personally reviewing tweets to determine what they think is a violation. If that team leans in one political direction, the chances of a politically-biased ruling is more likely. So far, like Facebook, Twitter’s track record demonstrates a rather pronounced left-ward lean.
Back in July, Dorsey admitted that his company has a bias perception problem, citing the issue of “shadowbanning.”
In an interview with The Washington Post two weeks ago, Dorsey said his company is going to be more proactive about improving the content on the site by embracing a form of social engineering, an initiative designed to reduce the “echo chamber” effect by making users encounter other views. In response, Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro argued that while presenting customers with more options can be okay in the marketplace, like a grocery store putting vegetables and fruits at eye level, that’s not exactly what Twitter and other social media platforms are doing.
“Twitter is supposed to be a grocery store for viewpoints,” writes Shapiro. “And viewpoints aren’t like candy and vegetables: which views are worthwhile is almost entirely in the eye of the beholder. It’s easy to say that neo-Nazis should be downgraded while Harvard professors are upgraded in terms of reach — but there’s no absolute standard, no limiting principle here. Conservatives are deeply suspicious that people on the Left will simply classify them alongside the junk food, while ridiculous Leftist views are promoted as ‘the stuff that’s good for you.’ It’s also true that Twitter’s tactics for elevating the vegetables aren’t quite as libertarian as all that. They make it impossible to find certain accounts unless you search for them; they suspend accounts at whim. This isn’t a case of merely placing the candy food away from the supermarket aisles — it’s a case of placing the candy away from all display, so you don’t even know that the grocery sells it.”
Just such a concealing of conservative content is what some recent studies found about Google searches, which repeatedly show a left-ward leaning bias on political topics, often preventing users from seeing conservative content on the first page of results.