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 TrumpKimberly Guilfoyle reports being asymptomatic and 'feeling really pretty good' after COVID-19 diagnosis Biden says he will rejoin WHO on his first day in office Lincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad 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) GaetzGianforte halts in-person campaigning after wife, running mate attend event with Guilfoyle House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops House panel votes to limit Trump's Germany withdrawal 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 MeadowsThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Miami pauses reopenings as COVID-19 infections rise, schools nationally plot return Overnight Health Care: Trump downplaying of COVID-19 sparks new criticism of response Trump downplaying sparks new criticism of COVID-19 response MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanHow conservative conspiracy theories are deepening America's political divide GOP-Trump fractures on masks open up Democrats start cracking down on masks for lawmakers 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.