Trump: 'We will look into' Twitter for 'shadow banning' Republicans

Trump: 'We will look into' Twitter for 'shadow banning' Republicans
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpDC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' DC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' Mexico's immigration chief resigns amid US pressure over migrants MORE on Thursday vowed that the government would investigate Twitter for allegations that the social media giant has suppressed content from some conservative accounts.

"Twitter 'SHADOW BANNING' prominent Republicans. Not good. We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once! Many complaints," Trump tweeted.

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The president, who uses Twitter as one of his main lines of communication with the public, was responding to claims from some Republicans who have alleged they have been "shadow banned" from the platform and have seen their engagement with users dissipate in recent weeks.

Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzRep. Amash stokes talk of campaign against Trump Rep. Amash stokes talk of campaign against Trump Democrats begin Mueller hearings with Watergate-era witness MORE. (R-Fla.), a staunch Trump ally, told The Hill on Wednesday he feels "victimized" because his visibility on Twitter has dropped for unclear reasons.

A spokesman for Gaetz’s office said they noticed a “significant decrease” in the congressman’s followers and retweets around May 15, which coincided with when Twitter implemented a new policy to crack down on what the company calls “troll-like behaviors.”

Vice News first reported on Wednesday that Gaetz, Reps. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsRep. Amash stokes talk of campaign against Trump Rep. Amash stokes talk of campaign against Trump House Oversight votes to hold Barr, Ross in contempt MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanRep. Amash stokes talk of campaign against Trump Rep. Amash stokes talk of campaign against Trump House panel advances bill to create cybersecurity standards for government IT devices MORE (R-Ohio) and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel are among those who failed to appear on Twitter’s auto-populated drop-down search when users entered their names.

Gaetz and McDaniel accused Twitter of political bias. 

Twitter has acknowledged the issue and called it unintentional. The company said it’s working to fix the issue and that it was not targeting Republicans.

“As we have said before, we do not 'shadowban'. We are aware that some accounts are not automatically populating in our search box, and shipping a change to address this,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement.

Kayvon Beykpour, the product lead for the company, tweeted on Wednesday that the platform is working to improve its “behavior-based ranking models” to improve accuracy. 

“To be clear, our behavioral ranking doesn’t make judgements based on political views or the substance of tweets,” Beykpour tweeted.

Ali Breland contributed to this report, which was updated at 9:08 a.m.

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