Was Scott Adams shadow banned?
According to many of my Twitter followers, Twitter is “shadowbanning” me. If true, that means someone at Twitter has decided to suppress my free speech on the site, presumably because I have said good things about Trump’s talents for persuasion. My tweets do not align with Twitter’s political preferences as I understand them.
I don’t have confirmation from Twitter that this is happening, so I tweeted Jack Dorsey today to ask. I’m sure he’s busy, but I’m hard to ignore. If no response in two days, I’ll assume my Twitter followers are correct that my tweets are not always showing up in their feeds. Shadowbanning isn’t a complete suppression of tweets. It only suppresses some percentage of them to reduce the influence of the sender. Allegedly.
I won’t jump the gun and assume something nefarious is happening. But I will say that IF it is happening, I would regard it as treason. If one political party can use the machinery of social networks to reduce free speech, that is an attack on American values at the deepest level. As a patriot, I would feel obligated to help kill Twitter. (And you wouldn’t want to bet against me.)
January 9th, 2018 10:42pm
> Do you remember when experts said China will never help squeeze the economy of North Korea because China fears a refugee crisis? President Trump encouraged China to squeeze anyway. Then he helpfully provided satellite photos of tankers cheating on the high seas. After South Korea grabbed and held a second cheating tanker, the economics of smuggling oil have turned negative, or will soon. And North Korea is sounding — at least to my ears — more flexible than ever.
January 9th, 2018 10:51pm
January 10th, 2018 12:52am
He's trying to switch careers from cartoonist to political guru, and is on the Trump train, so I find him genuinely irritating, but the stuff quoted so far is true. C
Twitter does fiddle around with its users' interactions and mutual visibility. Facebook and Google do the same crap. Usually, it's euphemistically described as curation and the motivation is assumed to be commercial (slipping adverts or brand-related content into your timeline).
Likewise, China is reluctantly squeezing the DPRK at least a little due to pressure from Trump and those ship seizures in fact occurred.
Twitter is not a public utility.
January 10th, 2018 4:57am
> China is reluctantly squeezing the DPRK
Are they ?
Also economics of smuggling are reversed now or will be?
Plus the threats against Twitter sound unhinged
January 10th, 2018 6:43am
Maybe he should start his own twitter.
January 10th, 2018 7:14am
He already HAS his own web-site, why does he need to post shit on Twitter?
All he really needs to post is "Come see my latest update", mission accomplished.
January 10th, 2018 8:14am
Let's see, why is he crazy.
Let's start with the tangential stuff.
Twitter's not a public service. You don't have a right to use Twitter, let alone a right to free speech on Twitter. You're just eyeballs for them to whore out to advertisers; you know, people with actual rights on Twitter (because they pay Twitter).
If Twitter decided to censor your posts, for whatever reason, that's tough shit for you. Saying that's treason is patently absurd.
But that was the tangential shit.
The real shit is imagining Twitter would actually bother to censor Scott Adams is ridiculous, in a way that's easily detected, is an absurd business risk for them. Besides why would they single out Scott Adams for his pro-Trump views and not censor, say, fucking realDonaldTrump, if that was their scheme? If that was happening, why would you expect Twitter engineers to keep that a secret? It'd be huge, platform ending news.
He almost certainly experienced a technical issue. Twitter's not an SQL database where they do SELECT * FROM tweets WHERE user_id IN ($people_i_follow) ORDER BY timestamp DESC and that's your tweetstream. To keep up with their load they have to be using a distributed system that trades off failing by occasionally dropping tweets from people's tweetstreams, rather than halting everything from time to time to catch up.
Plus by now they almost certainly use ML-based systems that re-order tweets in your feed to figure out what will capture the most attention * get you to click on ads. The way FB reorders their feed now, too.
For Scott Adams to go straight to I'm being oppressed for being a rationalist about politics is absurd.
January 10th, 2018 9:49am
You know this is from last October, right?
January 10th, 2018 10:22am
Oh, has he stopped being crazy?
January 10th, 2018 11:05am
Twitter is actively censoring people for political views (usually the more abusive views, like that of half of CoT).
They have recently declared they don't censor Trump and other heads of states despite their abusive opinions because their opinions are too important commercially.
Censoring probably happens less often in the US than elsewhere, because elsewhere governments demand the removal of offensive (anti government) tweets.
It wouldn't be /too/ hard to develop a network of twitter bots around the world that subscribed to you and reported a map of where your tweets did and didn't show up.
It'd be actually kind of interesting.
January 10th, 2018 11:54am
Zaq: "You know this is from last October, right?"
It was from October 2016.
January 10th, 2018 3:42pm
Lotti Fuehrscheim: "Twitter is actively censoring people for political views (usually the more abusive views, like that of half of CoT)."
The issue is that Adams thought he was being "shadow banned".
January 10th, 2018 3:44pm
Adams: " Shadowbanning isn’t a complete suppression of tweets. It only suppresses some percentage of them to reduce the influence of the sender."
No, that's not what "shadow banning" is.
January 10th, 2018 3:44pm
No you are wrong. Shadow banning ALWAYS shows your posts to some people - such as yourself. Depending on the system, who else sees it can vary. For example, on Joel's site, if you commented on a thread that was shadow banned, all the commenters would still see it, not just the person whose post triggered the offense.
Shadow banning has that specific distinction from actual banning where no one sees your posts.
January 10th, 2018 4:59pm
UPDATE, Oct. 21: Twitter spokesperson Rachel Millner provided Motherboard with the following statement in response to this article:
"Earlier this week, an issue caused some Tweets to be delivered inconsistently across browsers and geographies. We've since resolved the issue though affected Tweets may take additional time to correct."
That's Twitter's response, which is inline with the technical issues I described. If you think Twitter's going to prioritize linearizability of something as useless as tweets across their system, at the expense of other performance characteristics, you're smoking crack (or don't understand shit about distributed systems).
January 10th, 2018 5:54pm
You should get your own website and post your content there. When you put it on Twitter/FaceBook/etc, you're just giving control of your relationship to your audience to 3rd parties.
In the beginning, FaceBook encouraged businesses to invest in a big FaceBook presence. Then, boom, they changed the rules, and you could only reach your audience if you paid $$$ to advertise.
January 10th, 2018 6:46pm
Idiot: "No you are wrong. Shadow banning ALWAYS shows your posts to some people - such as yourself."
It applies to yourself. Beyond that is a change in the definition.
January 10th, 2018 8:48pm
Idiot: "Shadow banning has that specific distinction from actual banning where no one sees your posts."
"Actual banning" is where you can't post at all.
January 10th, 2018 8:52pm
Shadow banning is more evil than an outright ban.
With an outright ban, you know you were banned.
With a shadow ban, you don't know unless you log in from another device/ip, under a different account.
January 10th, 2018 9:14pm
January 10th, 2018 9:18pm
So, strictly speaking, Scott Adams is misusing the term 'shadow banned'.
What he means is that (he believes) some of the people who follow him on Twitter are not getting his tweets in their tweet stream feeds.
Is there a more precise name for this?
Maybe the practice hasn't been around long enough yet to get a name?
How about tweet-throttling?
January 11th, 2018 7:17am
Another question, if it's happening, is whether it's a normal automatic Twitter thing (not deliberately about Adams).
Adams brought it up in Oct 2016. And it appears nothing came out of it.
That is, Adams apparently no longer thinks what happened, happened.
Maybe, the "master persuader" made it up.
January 11th, 2018 7:35am
"tweet throttling" is ok but it lacks the "I'm being suppressed because I'm speaking truth to power" vibe.
January 11th, 2018 7:38am