Several conservative accounts quickly responded to journalist Bari Weiss’s Thursday report revealing that Twitter had blacklisted select accounts in the past. Conservatives have long alleged that they have been “shadowbanned” or had their content limited without being informed. The accounts known to be affected included those of Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, conservative commentator Dan Bongino, and Chaya Raichik, the owner of Libs of TikTok.
“This is some Soviet-style bulls***,” Bongino said Thursday on Fox News’s Hannity, noting that the “blacklist” label confirms what he long believed about “the mass shadowbanning of conservatives.”
Kirk also expressed his ire, alleging that Twitter was treating his account worse than certain Middle Eastern accounts. “They’re treating my Twitter account with more scrutiny and censorship than the prime minister of Iran, than Hamas, than people who do actual terrorism,” Kirk told Fox News’s Tucker Carlson. Kirk went on to wonder if these shadowbans were done at the request of the U.S. government.
It is unclear how Twitter handles Iran- or Hamas-affiliated organizations.
Raichik also appeared on Carlson’s show to slam Twitter for its handling of her Libs of TikTok account, which has been the target of multiple bans in 2022 that have restricted the account’s ability to post new videos. Twitter acknowledged in internal communications that it could not find specific tweets that violate its terms of service but had implemented restrictions based on allegations that her content had inspired people to harass children’s hospitals over their handling of transgender issues.
“The craziest part of this whole thing is that they admitted that I’m not even violating the policies, and they still suspended me seven times,” Raichik told Carlson.
The latest update to the Twitter Files, which Weiss published, released screenshots revealing that select accounts had tags attached to them that appeared to limit their visibility. These include “Search Blacklist,” “Trends Blacklist,” and “Do Not Amplify.” Weiss also revealed that a number of executives, including former Twitter Head of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth and Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, made content moderation decisions involving major accounts.