Twitter appeared to shadowban videos of Italy’s first female incoming Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni.
According to a number of Twitter users, attempts to search for videos of the newly-elected conservative leader returned no results. The Daily Wire attempted a video search on the platform, and the results are displayed below:
Recent congressional candidate Matthew Foldi (R-MD) shared a video of himself completing the search in real time, showing results under the “top” results tab, but none when he selected “videos.”
Try looking for videos of @GiorgiaMeloni on twitter—you can’t, they have all vanished https://t.co/buFQMAS6Ef pic.twitter.com/afJX9AbS0b
— Matthew Foldi (@MatthewFoldi) September 29, 2022
But the videos themselves were not actually gone. In fact, Meloni’s pinned tweet, posted at the top of her Twitter feed and visible to anyone who clicks on her profile, is a video.
#ElezioniPolitiche2022 #Meloni pic.twitter.com/ZVtLmYqPkI
— Giorgia Meloni 🇮🇹 ن (@GiorgiaMeloni) September 26, 2022
That disparity — the fact that a video search returned no results at all despite the videos still clearly being present on the platform, led a number of users to surmise that videos featuring Meloni had been “shadowbanned.”
As Builtin.com explained, “shadowbans block users or individual pieces of content without letting the offending user know they’ve been blocked. To a shadowbanned user, the site continues to function as normal — they can still make posts and engage with other people’s posts — but to others, the user appears to have gone silent.”
“Searching for Giorgia Meloni will bring up zero photo and video results,” Klaus Arminius tweeted. “In order to protect democracy, Twitter shadow banned the democratically elected Italian PM from its platform.”
Searching for Giorgia Meloni will bring up zero photo and video results.
In order to protect democracy, Twitter shadow banned the democratically elected Italian PM from its platform. pic.twitter.com/KXHtO8igD6
— Klaus Arminius (@Klaus_Arminius) September 29, 2022
“Twitter’s shadow ban of democratically elected right wing Italian PM Giorgia Meloni is actually the stuff of dystopian gaslighting. Meloni isn’t the fascist. Twitter is. Change the words ‘a Government’ with ‘Social Media,’” Alex Phillips said.
Twitter’s shadow ban of democratically elected right wing Italian PM Giorgia Meloni is actually the stuff of dystopian gaslighting.
Meloni isn’t the fascist. Twitter is.
Change the words ‘a Government’ with ‘Social Media’: pic.twitter.com/F55XRkazqQ
— Alex Phillips (@ThatAlexWoman) September 29, 2022
Twitter was not the only platform to catch heat for allegedly stifling content featuring the newly-elected prime minister. YouTube temporarily removed a 2019 speech Meloni gave at the World Congress of Families — in which she defended the family unit and ripped into “woke” ideology — claiming that it had been “removed for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines.”
YouTube later reinstated the video, telling The Daily Wire in a statement, “Upon careful review, we determined this video is not violative of our Community Guidelines and have reinstated it.”
Amanda Prestigiacomo contributed to this report.