In an announcement earlier today, Twitter said they were taking steps to limit “behaviors that distort and detract from the public conversation” by downranking content that exhibits such behaviors from search results and “public conversations.”
In other words, if your behavior is considered “troll-like” by Twitter, it will be harder for other users to find your posts on the platform. The practice of limiting the visibility of content without formally suspending the content owner, notifying them, or deleting the content in question the definition of shadowbanning.
Although Twitter employees have been caught on camera admitting that shadowbanning takes place on the platform, the company continues to publicly deny that it engages in the practice — they have even made such denials in Senate hearings.
Twitter has made little effort to be transparent about the kind of signals it looks for when seeking to identify accounts that, in their words, “distort the conversation.” One of their employees was caught on camera admitting that accounts that post too much about “God, guns, and America” are likely to be classified as “bots,” but there is no acknowledgment of that in Twitter’s announcement.
Twitter only provided a few examples of the kind of signals they look for.
There are many new signals we’re taking in, most of which are not visible externally. Just a few examples include if an account has not confirmed their email address, if the same person signs up for multiple accounts simultaneously, accounts that repeatedly Tweet and mention accounts that don’t follow them, or behavior that might indicate a coordinated attack. We’re also looking at how accounts are connected to those that violate our rules and how they interact with each other.