Elon Musk Begins ‘Digging In’ on Popular Twitter Account’s Shadow Ban and Something Quickly Becomes Apparent

Now that Elon Musk is the self-described “chief twit” at Twitter, the bird has been freed — along with the Catturd™, it seems.

If you’re unfamiliar, that’s not some neologistic swear word the kids are using. Catturd™ is a popular conservative Twitter account that’s been shadow banned because the guy behind it is politically incorrect and pro-Donald Trump, and apologizes for neither position.

Musk has only been in charge at the social media giant since Thursday, but Mr. Turd (I’m assuming that’s his real name, right?) had quite the 24 hours.

At 7 p.m. Eastern on Thursday evening, he tweeted this: “Report … day one of @elonmusk owning Twitter. I’ll be doing this every day to see if anything changes. As of now, I’m still Shadowbanned, ghostbanned, searchbanned, and Twitter removed 1200 followers today – as usual. Nothing has changed – I’ll report again tomorrow.”

Shadow banning” or “ghost banning” is when a social media network makes a user’s comments essentially invisible to all but the user himself. Unless you specifically go to the Catturd™ page, his tweets won’t show up in your feed. And good luck finding him, too — “search banning” is the process of not suggesting his page even when you type “catturd” into the search bar. (It’s not as if that particular word is a popular search term, after all — and those who type it in without looking for Catturd™ are the users Twitter should really be de-platforming, in my opinion.)

Social media companies and tech journalists insist that shadow banning and search banning conservative personalities isn’t really a thing, and then in the same breath insist it’s a good thing.


(To quote Christopher Hitchens, “perhaps you notice how the denial is so often the preface to the justification.”)

Anyhow, Mr. Turd noted that, “I realize changes can’t happen in one minute – but I’m going to report the daily progress – learn to Twitter.”

However, the “chief twit” was on the job:

Mr. Musk’s “digging in” certainly led to some interesting changes, as tweets from Catturd™ on Friday afternoon indicated:

A “search suggestion ban” prevents your profile from coming up in search results, whereas a “search ban” prevents all tweets from showing up in results, even if an exact phrase matches, according to the blog PR News. It’s worth noting that, as of Saturday morning, I was able to search Mr. Turd’s Twitter handle and his profile was suggested to me — but there’s no update from the man himself and your mileage may vary.

Furthermore, Catturd™’s follower count has skyrocketed since Musk took over the company, and he thinks it’s not because Musk himself responded to his tweet.

Whatever the case, the Musk-Catturd™ affair has led to paroxysms of agony on the left over the prospect of free speech and a free market of ideas on a platform that’s become journalists’ favorite walled garden. This included Keith Olbermann, because if there’s a bout of paroxysming on the left, you can bet the former MSNBC host is gonna paroxysm harder than anyone else:

This is something content moderation-happy liberals ought to get used to, however.

Author and psychologist Jordan Peterson has been suspended from the platform since violating Twitter’s policy “against hateful conduct,” an offense which consisted of calling transgender actress Ellen Page by her given name (as opposed to Eliot Page, the name she’s adopted) and with female pronouns. In a response to Peterson’s daughter Mikhaila about her father’s suspension, Musk said that “[a]nyone suspended for minor & dubious reasons will be freed from Twitter jail.”

Given that Musk has said in the past that “pronouns suck” and shifting individual pronouns “are an esthetic nightmare,” it’s likely Peterson’s transgressions fall under the aegis of “minor & dubious.”

Musk also tweeted that “Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints,” although he added that “[n]o major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.”

However, maybe the movement on Catturd™’s account is because the shadow banners at the social media giant didn’t want to end up like this:

Unfortunately, it turns out that these weren’t actually Twitter employees — it turns out CNBC’s Deidre Bosa didn’t conduct due diligence on the guys outside Twitter HQ — but the indication from Musk is that firings like this will be happening sooner rather than later.

Well, as the left used to say to us, these guys can always go start their own social media company. Nobody’s stopping them. And, unlike other alternative platforms, it’s not like Apple, Google and Amazon are going to work their hardest to ensure they fail.

Either way, there’s clearly a new day dawning at Twitter — and daylight is forcing the vampires of the left back into their safe spaces. They’re not going to go without a good shriek or two, however.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.