Hey, at least it’s an improvement. If you’re getting throttled, maybe it would be nice to know about it. Of course, it would be nicer not to get throttled at all, but at least this way we won’t have to listen to tech reporters insists that shadowbanning doesn’t exist at all.

Amusingly, most of the “it’s a conservative conspiracy theory” crowd spent the overnight and morning hours trying to play off Bari Weiss’ exposé on shadowbanning as corroboration for their earlier characterizations of it. Nothing to see here, old news, it’s not *shadowbanning* shadowbanning, and so forth. Progressive contrarian Glenn Greenwald was having none of that this morning:

The bottom line of the Bari Weiss exposé remains valid. Twitter tweaked accounts and interfered with their reach on the bases of viewpoint, content, and clearly also ideology. They did so while claiming that no such interference took place. And they did so to promote their own preferred narratives and ideologies at the expense of dissenters, even when the dissenters had much more knowledge about the subject matter — and turned out to be correct.

The best way to fix that would be to eliminate the tools that allow Twitter employees to interfere with customer usage. Musk proposes a next-best alternative, or at least he seems to think so:

We might have to retire the term “shadowban” if Musk delivers on this promise. Transparency removes the “shadow,” no? Unfortunately, it still means getting throttled, and that apparently will remain an option for Twitter users and managers in the future.

But why? If a user violates their terms of service, the account can be suspended. If it’s just a single tweet that creates a violation, that tweet can be deleted. In both cases, the user can easily get notified and likely will figure it out faster than an e-mail alert will arrive. Why keep tools that provide the means to conduct all sorts of mischief behind the scenes and force users to have to slog through an appeal process to reverse it? It doesn’t make much sense to throttle accounts that aren’t violating terms of service, or to block them from organically trending in the regular Twitter algorithms.

As Weiss herself noted:

The throttling tools themselves are the barriers. Why keep them around at all, if the new Twitter policy is to finally keep the promise of a debate without them? Transparency may ameliorate the abuse, but it doesn’t fix the underlying problem. As long as those tools remain, Twitter staffers will be tempted to curate the debate to their own tastes, and all we’ll know is individually who gets impacted by that. If Musk wants to build trust in his revamped platform, he’ll have to do better than this.

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