US President Donald Trump has accused Twitter of restricting the visibility of prominent Republicans, without providing evidence, and the avid user of the social media platform promised to investigate.
Trump accused the company of targeting fellow Republicans with a practice dubbed “shadow banning,” limiting the visibility of a Twitter user including in the platform’s auto-populated dropdown search box. Twitter denied “shadow banning” anyone.
“Twitter ‘SHADOW BANNING’ prominent Republicans. Not good. We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once!” Trump wrote in a Twitter post on Thursday.
It was not clear whether Trump planned to ask federal regulators to investigate. The White House did not respond to a request for comment, according to a Reuters report Friday.
“We don’t shadow ban, and we certainly don’t shadow ban based on political viewpoints,” Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said in a tweet late on Thursday.
In a separate blog post, Twitter said it identified an issue where some accounts weren't auto-suggested in search even when people were searching for their specific name.
Hundreds of thousands of accounts were impacted by this issue, including those of Republican and Democratic politicians, the social media company said.
Twitter said it does not shadow ban, however, it does rank tweets and search results. “We do this because Twitter is most useful when it’s immediately relevant.”
Trump is a high-profile and frequent user of Twitter, offering opinions, announcing policies and often attacking adversaries. But some Trump supporters have been saying for months that Republican and conservative candidates are being stifled on social media.
Twitter shares, which have been trading lower since Facebook Inc’s disappointing earnings late on Wednesday, closed down nearly 3 per cent at $42.94 on Thursday.
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