Independent journalist Bari Weiss has stated, using research based on the company's internal documents, that Twitter built "secret" blacklists to restrict the visibility of "disfavored tweets" and certain right-leaning accounts, Al Jazeera reported.

On Friday, Dec. 9, it was claimed by Weiss, who currently runs The Free Press and a former opinion editor at The New York Times, that the social media platform's previous management had put some accounts on a "Trends Blacklist," "Search Blacklist," and "Do Not Amplify" list in order to limit their reach.

The company, acquired by Billionaire Elon Musk in October, publicly acknowledged limiting the reach of some accounts, leaving them visible to followers but reducing their visibility in conversations and search results. However, Twitter has come under fire for not notifying affected users or being open and transparent about its decisions.

Weiss claimed on Twitter that the individuals on the blacklist included Charlie Kirk, a conservative activist, and "Libs of TikTok," an account that reposts and mocks content published by liberals and LGBTQ individuals. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor at Stanford University who opposed COVID-19 lockdowns, was also named.

Weiss shared screenshots that claimed to demonstrate the interface Twitter used to block particular users, along with tags denoting their restricted status, and she cited a number of unnamed Twitter workers to back up her assertions.

According to Weiss, a group called "Site Integrity Policy, Policy Escalation Support," which at the time included Vijaya Gadde, the head of legal, policy, trust, and safety made the most politically sensitive decisions.

Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter’s former head of product, rebutted Weiss’ characterization of the platform’s policies, saying the company never denied ranking accounts but had rejected claims of “shadow banning.”

Weiss’s publication of the material comes after Twitter’s new owner Musk shared internal company documents with Weiss and fellow independent journalist Matt Taibbi.

Musk announced Friday that the platform was working on an update to "show your true account status, so you know clearly if you've been shadowbanned, the reason why, and how to appeal."

A divisive reaction followed Weiss's claims on Friday.

Some Twitter users also pointed out that Musk last month said that hateful and negative tweets would be “deboosted” and “demonetized” under his leadership, casting the platform’s new policy as “freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach.”

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