On Thursday evening Twitter CEO Elon Musk, after an independent journalist released internal communications regarding Twitter’s previous history of shadow banning accounts, Musk announced an upcoming update that is intended to instill trust in the service.
Musk’s announcement follows journalist Bari Weiss’ second edition of the commonly-known “Twitter Files” reports. These reports are distillations of a complex trove of internal company communications that focus on Twitter’s previous efforts to suppress stories, user accounts and information.
According to the Twitter Files reports, Twitter was actively blacklisting and shadowbanning user accounts in effort to manipulate search results and suppress, largely conservative, viewpoints.
In response to the revelations, Musk tweeted that a future software update will show every user of their “true account status.” Musk also said this is intended to help users “know clearly if [they have] been shadowbanned, the reason why and how to appeal.”
Twitter is working on a software update that will show your true account status, so you know clearly if you’ve been shadowbanned, the reason why and how to appeal
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 9, 2022
Musk answered “Yes” to a tweet asking if political candidates seeking election “either in the US or elsewhere” that were subjected to Twitters shadowbanning.
So here’s a question for @elonmusk and @bariweiss: were any political candidates — either in the US or elsewhere — subject to shadowbanning while they were running for office or seeking re-election?
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) December 9, 2022
Musk also noted how the geographical location of Twitter engineers may have played a role in perceived activisim in how they enacted their blacklists and shadowbanning.
Musk said, “Most engineers don’t feel strongly about politics, but do want to work with other great engineers. Silicon Valley has world’s best engineering talent, but is co-located with San Francisco, which is far left. Thus, far left gained control of an incredibly powerful info weapon.”