The long-hated process of shadow-banning on X, formerly known as Twitter, is set to change, according to owner Elon Musk.
At the Viva Tech conference this week, Musk announced plans to address the issue. The company is working on a plan that will allow users to see if their account has been affected by the Twitter system.
“Sorry it’s taking so long,” Musk posted. “There are so many layers of ‘trust & safety’ software that it often takes us hours to figure out who, how, and why an account was suspended or shadow-banned. A ground-up rewrite is underway that simplifies the X codebase dramatically.”
Shadow-banning is a practice where users have their accounts partially silenced without their knowledge. While shadow-banned users can still post, they will notice a significant drop in engagement. This issue has been politicized, with conservative accounts often claiming they were shadow-banned for expressing their views on topics such as vaccines or the 2020 election.
Yoel Roth, the former head of Twitter’s Trust & Safety team, shed more light on Musk’s comments. In a thread on rival social media site Blue Sky, Roth explained that creating an automated system for account status is challenging. However, he revealed that his Twitter team was working on a system to meet Musk’s requirements before he took over, which is expected to be finished this year.