TWITTER EXPOSED: Blacklists, Secret Censorship Cabal, Treachery at the Highest Levels

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Independent journalist Bari Weiss took to Twitter on Thursday night to unload a second trove of internal memos and documents exposing how Twitter officials silenced the voices of prominent conservatives on the platform. Radio host Dan Bongino, Stanford professor Jay Bhattacharya, and activist Charlie Kirk were among those Twitter censored or blacklisted, along with the popular “Libs of TikTok” account.


“A new #TwitterFiles investigation reveals that teams of Twitter employees build blacklists, prevent disfavored tweets from trending, and actively limit the visibility of entire accounts or even trending topics—all in secret, without informing users,” Weiss, a former New York Times reporter, wrote. “The authors [of the Twitter Files] have broad and expanding access to Twitter’s files. The only condition we agreed to was that the material would first be published on Twitter.”

She noted that Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, who tried to shed light on how the Covid lockdowns were harming children, was on a “Trends Blacklist,” meaning Twitter took action to ensure he would not appear in the Trending topics section of the platform.

Don Bongino was not only banned from Twitter’s Search feature, but his account was marked “NSWF”—purportedly meaning it was “not safe for work.”

That acronym is usually reserved for pornographic content, raising questions about whether Twitter has been using the federal Communications Decency Act (CDA) to justify censorship of individuals who fell into disfavor with the Powers That Be at the social media platform. If that’s the case, did they do so at the behest of federal officials?

“This is some Soviet-style bulls**t,” Bongino told Fox News’s Sean Hannity. “I’ve known [about the shadow banning] this the whole time. I was called a conspiracy theorist and a whack job.” And it’s not just Twitter. Bongino’s website has been banned by Google Ads, and he was banned from YouTube for saying that cloth masks don’t work to stop the spread of Covid. “And now I find out I’m on a NSFW list,” he fumed. “Tell me again how we live in a free country!”


Conservative activist Charlie Kirk also experienced the wrath of Twitter’s overlords. He made the “Do Not Amplify” list as well as the NSFW list:

Kirk told Fox News’s Tucker Carlson that his Twitter account was averaging 150,000 retweets a day, but all of a sudden, “we fell off a cliff.” Engagement was down 95%, he said.

“I was called a conspiracy theorist,” he explained. “They convince you to stop talking about it.”

He noted that Twitter was treating his account “with more scrutiny and censorship” than Iran and other state sponsors of terror.

Weiss pointed out that “Twitter denied that it does such things. In 2018, Twitter’s Vijaya Gadde (then Head of Legal Policy and Trust) and Kayvon Beykpour (Head of Product) said: ‘We do not shadow ban.’ They added: ‘And we certainly don’t shadow ban based on political viewpoints or ideology.'”

“What many people call ‘shadow banning,’ Twitter executives and employees call ‘Visibility Filtering’ or ‘VF.’ Multiple high-level sources confirmed its meaning,” Weiss explained. One Twitter employee said, “Think about visibility filtering as being a way for us to suppress what people see to different levels. It’s a very powerful tool.”

The platform used VF to “block searches of individual users; to limit the scope of a particular tweet’s discoverability; to block select users’ posts from ever appearing on the ‘trending’ page; and from inclusion in hashtag searches.”


“We control visibility quite a bit. And we control the amplification of your content quite a bit. And normal people do not know how much we do,” one Twitter engineer told the team investigating the company’s internals. This was confirmed by two other employees.

“The group that decided whether to limit the reach of certain users was the Strategic Response Team – Global Escalation Team, or SRT-GET. It often handled up to 200 ‘cases” a day,'” wrote Weiss. “But there existed a level beyond official ticketing, beyond the rank-and-file moderators following the company’s policy on paper. That is the ‘Site Integrity Policy, Policy Escalation Support,’ known as ‘SIP-PES.'”

“This secret group included Head of Legal, Policy, and Trust (Vijaya Gadde), the Global Head of Trust & Safety (Yoel Roth), subsequent CEOs Jack Dorsey and Parag Agrawal, and others. This is where the biggest, most politically sensitive decisions got made,” she added.

Another Twitter employee revealed that this group handled “high follower, controversial” accounts for which there was “no ticketing or anything.”

“Think high follower account, controversial,” another Twitter employee told Weiss.

It was all “done without users’ knowledge,” Weiss said.

The Libs of TikTok account, which tweets TikTok videos from leftists saying nutty things, was subject to this enhanced scrutiny. A note appended to her account said, “DO NOT TAKE ACTION ON USER WITHOUT CONSULTING WITH SIP-PES@.”


The founder of the account told Tucker Carlson on Thursday, “It’s clear that there was suppression and there were shadow bannings.”

“When I spread [the Left’s] views in their own words, they don’t want you to see it because they don’t stand up to scrutiny,” she said. “They admitted that I’m not violating their policies, but they suspended me seven times.”

Indeed, Weiss cited an internal SIP-PES memo from October 2022, after the account’s seventh suspension, where the “committee acknowledged that ‘LTT has not directly engaged in behavior violative of the Hateful Conduct policy.'”

“The committee justified her suspensions internally by claiming her posts encouraged online harassment of ‘hospitals and medical providers’ by insinuating ‘that gender-affirming healthcare is equivalent to child abuse or grooming,'” wrote Weiss.

Twitter didn’t seem to mind, however, when the founder of Libs of TikTok (who is cautious about revealing her identity, which is why we’re not using her name here) was doxxed in November 2022. Twitter allowed a tweet with her home address and a photo of her home to garner more than 10,000 likes. When she tried to get Twitter to remove the tweet, she was told, “We reviewed the reported content, and didn’t find it to be in violation of the Twitter rules.” According to Weiss, “No action was taken. The doxxing tweet is still up.”


Weiss’s investigation revealed internal Slack messages where Twitter employees admitted to using “technicalities” to “restrict the visibility of tweets and subjects.” Yoel Roth, Twitter’s then Global Head of Trust & Safety, wrote in a direct message to a colleague in 2021, “A lot of times, SI [Site Integrity] has used technicality spam enforcements as a way to solve a problem created by Safety under-enforcing their policies. Which, again, isn’t a problem per se – but it keeps us from addressing the root cause of the issues, which is that our Safety policies need some attention.”

Weiss wrote: “Six days later, in a direct message with an employee on the Health, Misinformation, Privacy, and Identity research team, Roth requested more research to support expanding ‘non-removal policy interventions like disabling engagements and deamplification/visibility filtering.'”

“The hypothesis underlying much of what we’ve implemented is that if exposure to, e.g., misinformation directly causes harm, we should use remediations that reduce exposure, and limiting the spread/virality of content is a good way to do that,” Roth added. “We got [then CEO Jack Dorsey] on board with implementing this for civic integrity in the near term, but we’re going to need to make a more robust case to get this into our repertoire of policy remediations – especially for other policy domains.”


Weiss says there’s more to come. The next set of revelations will come from the Twitter account of Matt Taibbi. “We’re just getting started on our reporting,” she concluded. “Documents cannot tell the whole story here. A big thank you to everyone who has spoken to us so far. If you are a current or former Twitter employee, we’d love to hear from you. Please write to: [email protected].”

These leaked documents and memos, along with those shared by Taibbi last week, show a pattern of Twitter censoring conservatives, which comes as no surprise to those of us who have been warning about this for years. We’ve been called conspiracy theorists and fact-checked anytime we called out the censorship.

Kirk summed it up nicely by declaring: “I don’t think we’ll ever be able to measure the impact… of what Twitter did in 2020.” Indeed. While Elon Musk has done the republic a great service by publicly revealing Twitter’s evil deeds, we’ll never know how it impacted everything from the 2020 election to the nation’s Covid response—and that’s a complete travesty.

Here at PJ Media, we’ve been calling out Big Tech’s censorship for several years. We need your help to continue telling the truth about the shadow-banning, the blacklists, and the secret cabals. The Left is determined to take away our ability to share conservative messages—and your ability to hear the truth about what they’re doing. Please become a PJ Media VIP member today. Use the promo code BIGTECH for a 25% discount on your membership. With your help, we can fight back against the Left’s anti-American, anti-free-speech agenda.



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