President TrumpDonald TrumpPredictions of disaster for Democrats aren't guarantees of midterm failure A review of President Biden's first year on border policy Hannity after Jan. 6 texted McEnany 'no more stolen election talk' in five-point plan for Trump 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.
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
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) GaetzGallego on Jan. 6 rioters: 'F--- them' The Hill's Morning Report - For Biden, it goes from bad to worse Gaetz ex testified to federal grand jury in sex crimes investigation 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 MeadowsHannity after Jan. 6 texted McEnany 'no more stolen election talk' in five-point plan for Trump Jan. 6 committee asks Ivanka Trump to sit for interview The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks, Senate balks MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanJan. 6 committee asks Ivanka Trump to sit for interview Rand Paul cancels DirecTV subscription after it drops OAN Sunday shows preview: Democrats' struggle for voting rights bill comes to a head 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.
To be clear, our behavioral ranking doesn’t make judgements based on political views or the substance of tweets. We recently publicly testified to Congress on this topic https://t.co/Zk4DL7Q3hq— Kayvon Beykpour (@kayvz) July 25, 2018
Ali Breland contributed to this report, which was updated at 9:08 a.m.