"Something is wrong."
Something is Wrong
We know, we know: every day on Twitter since approximately October 27, 2022 has been strange. But today, things are somehow extra weird.
Twitter users, notably the alt-right bunch, have been in a tizzy for the last 18 hours or so, claiming that the Elon Musk-owned Twitter app, for whatever reason, is refusing to let their content go viral unless they switch their accounts to private.
"Okay, since everyone is trying this account locking technique to see if it improves engagement, I'll give it a whirl," tweeted conservative podcaster Ben Shapiro. "Let me know if you see my tweets again if they've been hidden over the past few weeks."
"Ben I can't retweet you," responded Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, who all-around just seems more confused than anyone else.
And Musk, as he's been making very clear, is also in the dark.
"Something is wrong," he tweeted Tuesday evening, in response to a complaint from alt-right talking head Libs of TikTok. But not to fret: Musk, seemingly in solidarity, decided to take his own account private. A brave move for both the owner of the app and the world's premier tweeter.
He's still private now, and it's unclear what exactly needs to be fixed, if anything. Cheers.
amazing things are happening on twitter dot com pic.twitter.com/VIiwnINUNj
— KnowNothing (@KnowNothingTV) February 1, 2023
There are a lot of factors at play here, the first being that "shadowbanning" and alleged free speech suppression, particularly of conservative voices, has been a major conservative talking point for years.
Conservative "voices" on Twitter, a list including all of the names just mentioned, certainly play into that narrative. Musk does as well, in his Twitter Files and in his far-right flirtations. Whether these folks' content is actually being suppressed, just talking about it is surely getting them some numbers. (Jury's still out on if Twitter really is glitching, but considering that teams have been stretched razor-thin for months now, it wouldn't be shocking.)
Also, shadowbans do exist. But once again, Musk owns Twitter, and if something's broken, it's his job to fix it. He can also apparently see whose accounts have been shadowbanned and why, as confirmed by Fox host and Twitter HQ guest visitor Dave Rubin just a few days ago.
Anyway. We'll leave these folks to their tiramisu.
More on Twitter bans: Free Speech Champion Elon Musk Is Mass Suspending Twitter Accounts of Journalists Who Criticized Him