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United States

Donald Trump accuses Twitter of ‘illegally’ targeting Republicans but offers no evidence

The US president claims the social network restricts the visibility of prominent Republicans on its platform

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 July, 2018, 1:22am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 July, 2018, 6:52am

US President Donald Trump accused Twitter on Thursday of restricting the visibility of prominent Republicans on its platform, without providing evidence, and he promised to investigate.

“Twitter ‘SHADOW BANNING’ prominent Republicans. Not good. We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once!” the Republican president posted on his Twitter account.

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The practice involves limiting the visibility of a user in search results, specifically in the auto-populated drop-down search box on Twitter.

Trump’s comments followed a Vice news report on Wednesday that Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and other Republicans including Donald Trump Jnr’s spokesman were being “shadow banned”.

“The notion that social media companies would suppress certain political points of view should concern every American. Twitter owes the public answers to what’s really going on,” McDaniel wrote on Twitter.

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Twitter did not have a comment on Trump’s tweet but a spokesperson said that the company does not “shadow ban”.

“We are aware that some accounts are not automatically populating in our search box, and shipping a change to address this,” the spokesperson said in a statement. Twitter said the technology used is based on user behaviour, not political views.