People are asking us if we shadow ban. We do not. But let’s start with, “what is shadow banning?”
The best definition we found is this: deliberately making someone’s content undiscoverable to everyone except the person who posted it, unbeknownst to the original poster.
We do not shadow ban. You are always able to see the tweets from accounts you follow (although you may have to do more work to find them, like go directly to their profile). And we certainly don’t shadow ban based on political viewpoints or ideology.
We do rank tweets and search results. We do this because Twitter is most useful when it’s immediately relevant. These ranking models take many signals into consideration to best organize tweets for timely relevance. We must also address bad-faith actors who intend to manipulate or detract from healthy conversation.
As a specific example, if a search result has 30,000 tweets, here’s what we take into consideration when ranking:
This last bullet is the basis of our work around serving healthy public conversation. Here are some of the signals we use to determine bad-faith actors:
We know this approach is working because we see fewer abuse reports and spam reports.
What Happened This Week
Yesterday, we identified an issue where some accounts weren’t auto-suggested in search even when people were searching for their specific name. To be clear, this only impacted our search auto-suggestions. The accounts, their tweets and surrounding conversation about those accounts were showing up in search results. As of yesterday afternoon, this issue was resolved.
There were a number of follow up questions relating to our thread yesterday that we wanted to address:
We’re focused on making these systems better and smarter over time and sharing our work and progress with all of you. We think it’s critical to promoting healthy public conversation on Twitter and earning trust.
Did someone say … cookies?