Shadowbanning: the most evil form of censorship

Shadowbanning means that the post is published and the author does not receive a warning or any disciplinary action, but most users can’t see it, so it generates no traffic. The poster isn’t outraged at being censored, he is simply demotivated by believing that his audience is not interested. Shadowbanning is very hard to prove if done right: show the content to his friends and devout followers and hide it only from strangers and independents.

Trump supporters have a Reddit forum “The Donald“. The CEO of Reddit was caught and forced to apologize because he edited the comments of users. He promised it won’t happen again and technically he kept the promise, I didn’t catch him editing comments. But I caught them shadowbanning.

I’ve found something that I believed can interest Trump supporters who are … not the greatest fans of CNN. CNN “reporter” Clarissa Ward made “hearthbraking report of the suffering of Syrian people at the hand of Assad” (Al-Qaeda propaganda). She also addressed the UN security council because random journalists often do that. The problem with her “reporting”?

On the left there is her in a territory “under the brutal oppression of Assad”. On the right it’s also her, in the land “liberated by the rebels” (Al-Qaeda). Well, a picture tells a thousand words which part of Syria is more free. Since I’m not busy reading CNN propaganda pieces, how did I find this gem? On the twitter of a Lebanese Christian journalist (I’ve found her on the twitter of Ann Coulter). Here is another good Clarissa Ward meme:

Anyway, I made a reddit post about it, linking the twitter post linked above – and I received no votes or comments or whatnot. It seems like a dud, people don’t care about such thing, right? Well, having my time with game developers, I instantly thought the alternative: the post is being manipulated. And indeed I couldn’t find my post on r/The_Donald/new despite repeated F5s. So I posted it again, but this time I didn’t link the twitter post, instead I saved the photo above and posted it under the same title. Well, it wasn’t a huge hit either, but it received 48 upvotes, so people indeed seen it.

I’d like to stress that the original post wasn’t formally banned, it’s still there and it’s right there on my post list:
shadowban
Why was I shadowbanned? I wasn’t, there is no point banning a throwaway reddit account. It’s Sarah the journalist who is shadowbanned. Random guys posting memes won’t convince independents about politics. No one will vote for Trump in 2020 because of a “God Emperor stared at the sun and it hid behind the moon” meme, so such activity is harmless. But actual journalist working locally finding facts is dangerous, so her content must be hidden. So when I linked one of her posts, my post was shadowbanned, to make me think that facts are uninteresting according to “my peers” and go back posting guns, girls in lingerie and Trump baseball hat and screenshots of bizarre posts of raging feminists.

Reddit is running an operation to “defang” the Trump supporters, deny them useful information that they could use to convince their real-life contacts and make them waste their time with “feel-good” memes and post crap that makes them look like a childish cult instead of a political movement.

PS: I’m not entirely innocent about that “childish cult” thing.

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Author: Gevlon

My blog: https://greedygoblinblog.wordpress.com/

13 thoughts on “Shadowbanning: the most evil form of censorship”

  1. Do you have any plans to do a “Don’t play reddit” page? One post is hardly indicative of rigging, and I would argue that the reason one failed and the other succeeded was because the successful one had a thumbnail. Reddit users are very short minded on average and will always be more responsive to pictures than to words.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You do know that The Donald has a policy to not allow any direct links to twitter, in order to not give them any traffic… so you were not shadowbanned. Just filtered by The Donald policies.

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  3. uninteresting according to “my peers”
    how did you come to this conclusion?
    You can’t apply research science paper-craping-system here. there is no institution or company that needs X ammount of papers which described findings and work is referenced Y times so they have some metric to dick-compare each other.

    I guess you have better reach on 4chan /pol/ as on reddit. but no real metrics to compare your dick with other posts. But they won’t shadowban.

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  4. @AKuul, Anon: I’d understand that if the post was BLOCKED or Deleted. But it’s still there, you can visit it by link, comment or vote. So it’s still shadowbanning, even if not done by political reasons.

    I mean, assuming that this happened, I would be unaware of the rule without this blog and would keep believing that the post was simply disliked.

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  5. keep believing that the post was simply disliked.
    if it’s liked or not is not important. reach is the most importand thing, and freedom of speech has to go underground and decentral as far as the current trend seems to point at, and there you will not have good ike/dislike mechanics at all. within this missinformation automation age, we don’t want to fall for it. what if a bot downvoted your post without you knowing about these kind of automation, what do you believe then? If you hear 100 voices “you are awesome” do you start to believe it? as humans we are flawed, because this kind of stuff is backed in our brains at a very deep and old level. on tribal group sizes this is fine. at multi thousands of followers and response we fail, hard. look at all the youtube celebs .. many depressed stories about the whole comunity interaction shit and other stuff. humans have only so much bandwidth to process stuff. I really don’t think that keeping score on likes or dislikes or how many likes melanie97s “kill yourself” comment got is important and should be on the attention-list of anyones mind.
    sure we need some feedback, don’t seek it on the internet play devils advocate on your own positions and start to disprove your own shit, people who do that have very solid arguments. like jordan peterson, he does talk and takes some feedback from good friends and collegues but for the most part he already did a very good job on his own. So the new found fame he got since bill C16 doesn’t affect him, or at least it doesn’t show.

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  6. @Someone: in the social media, “likes” are objectively valuable to spread the word. People click on what other people liked. Having no likes or upvotes turns you invisible.

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  7. So basically, the CEO of Reddit is such a left wing cuck that he thinks nothing of editing user’s essentially anti-left comments and only agreed to stop because he was caught.

    Think about that. Actions that would get anyone else fired at Reddit fired are “Ok” because he’s the CEO. Then realize that virtually ALL of the “social media” CEOs are hard core leftists. This is not a good thing.

    This is not going to go well.

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  8. Refusing to give a platform to anyone who is your political opponent is the most common thing in the political world. The interesting (but not really surprising) thing here should be how the up-until-now impartial Internet is rapidly getting coopted into politics.
    The surprising thing here would be if Internet actually managed to resist this cooption. Sadly, the only way to go against infrastructure is to build infrastructure of your own. Last time freedom was in true danger (The “long war” period of XX century, combining First and Second World Wars and everything in between), we had USSR. Internet, dank as its memes are, is no USSR.

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  9. @Maxim: the trick with the internet is that it’s necessarily global
    So all one has to do is a friendly country where his content is hosted. It will be bizarre, but possible, that all the pro-Trump sites will have to be hosted in Russia because they are de facto banned in the USA. Then the US companies can either cut the lines towards Russia or deal with the fact that pro-Trump content gets in the country.

    Liked by 1 person

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