Two prominent pro-Trump commentators appeared on Fox News recently to address claims of so-called “shadow banning” of conservatives on major social media platforms.
Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, known publicly as Diamond and Silk, began by thanking President Donald Trump for his recent statements condemning the alleged political bias on Twitter.
Twitter “SHADOW BANNING” prominent Republicans. Not good. We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once! Many complaints.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2018
“Twitter ‘SHADOW BANNING’ prominent Republicans,” Trump tweeted on Thursday. “Not good. We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once! Many complaints.”
Hardaway said she was glad to see him address the concerns.
“We even tweeted out to thank the president,” she said. “But also look at these other social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube because they’re doing the same thing.”
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) July 27, 2018
Hardaway called the alleged practice “a form of censorship,” comparing the experience of conservatives today to the oppression of black Americans under discriminatory Jim Crow-era laws.
“I call this the new Jim Crow day,” she said. “Back in the day you were discriminated based on the color of your skin. Now you’re being discriminated on the color of your politics.”
Repeating her allegations, Hardaway called Twitter’s actions a reflection of “the new Jim Crow,” claiming it and other sites are “weaponizing their platform with algorithms to suppress the voices of conservatives, of Republicans, of people who support the president.”
Richardson chimed in to accuse Twitter executives, who have denied politically-motivated censorship, of lying.
“And another lie they’re telling, they’re calling this some kind of glitch or error,” she said. “But these are deliberate glitches and these are deliberate errors because they’re only affecting Republicans.”
Hardaway called the circumstances “odd,” adding that she has come to believe that “it is a biased attempt to silence conservative voices.”
Accusing Twitter and other tech giants of “trying to be the arbitrator of true and false,” Richardson said the companies should trust users to make their own decisions.
“When we don’t want to look at fake news, we change the channel,” she said. “We don’t get a third person out there to say, ‘Is this fake? Is this false?’ We just change the doggone channel.”
Twitter released a statement confirming that it does “not ‘shadowban'” conservative users but was aware of an issue causing some accounts not to show up in site searches.
“To be clear, our behavioral ranking doesn’t make judgments based on political views or the substance of tweets,” the statement concluded.
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