Listen to this article Twitter Secretly Boosting 35 VIP Users, Including LeBron James, AOC, Catturd2, And Ben Shapiro
A report by Platformer, a technology newsletter, has accused Twitter of secretly boosting the posts of 35 VIP users on its platform. The report alleges that Twitter engineers have ensured that the tweets of these users receive automatic promotion, making them more visible than others. Twitter engineers bypass the algorithm that limits the number of posts viewable from a specific user to achieve this.
Platformer’s report is based on internal documents from Twitter that listed the 35 VIP users who have their posts monitored and promoted for greater visibility. Zoë Schiffer, Platformer’s managing editor, published 14 of the 35 names on the list, which included high-profile individuals such as LeBron James, Mr. Beast, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ben Shapiro, and Twitter’s CEO, Elon Musk.
List of VIP Users Secretly Boosted by Twitter
The 14 names listed on the report appear to span the political spectrum. President Joe Biden was on the list, but not former President Donald Trump, who now posts exclusively on Truth Social after his Twitter account was reinstated in November. The list also included the pro-Trump commentator, catturd2, with whom Elon Musk has had many Twitter conversations.
Elon Musk Involved in Twitter’s Secret Boosting of Users
Not all individuals on the list hold a favorable view of Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter, due to his history of engaging in public feuds with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In December, their Twitter exchange drew media and public attention, with Ocasio-Cortez urging Musk to “lay off the proto-fascism” and disconnect from his phone. Nevertheless, despite this conflict, Musk remains a prominent and influential figure in the tech industry.
Platformer’s report did not say if Musk requested the promotion of his tweets. However, the report mentioned that in February, Musk ordered changes to boost the visibility of his tweets over anyone else on the platform after his post on the Super Bowl got fewer impressions than Biden’s.
Twitter’s Response to Secretly Boosting Users Controversy
Twitter has not yet commented on the report. When contacted by Insider, the company responded with an automated message that did not address Insider’s queries. Representatives for Musk also did not immediately reply to Insider’s request for comment sent outside regular business hours.
Twitter’s Verification Policy
The revealing of this list comes just as Twitter is scheduled to remove its legacy blue ticks from April 1. Legacy blue ticks indicate that an account is a verified user of “public interest,” such as politicians, public figures, and celebrities.
To protect the identities of their sources, Platformer did not publish the full list of Twitter accounts. However, the report has raised questions about Twitter’s policies and practices and whether the platform is favoring certain users over others.
The accusations made by Platformer’s report are serious, and if true, they raise concerns about Twitter’s fairness and impartiality. The public and Twitter users will closely monitor how Twitter responds to the report and how the platform handles the situation.