I decided to do an extra blog entry about the issues of “shadow banning” on Twitter and other social media platforms. Many people are shadow banned / censored and don’t even know about it. Too bad for Pret A Manger, because I planned to phase out my Pret “rants” to a great degree but then these shadow bans are like a reminder that I am not doing anything wrong, and the public needs to know how it is behind the PR[et] facade that I survived.
As the whole subject of shadow banning is still relatively new to me this blog entry will evolve and change, as I gather more information adding to this post. Every change I will start with: UPDATE and then the date with it as I don’t have the strength to do it all today. But really want to start on this to draw people’s attention to this issue that is so rampant on various social media services. I am a “regular customer” to shadow banning and should get a loyalty card! I am being banned everytime I post a very direct tweet regarding some dishonest Pret statement or my knowledge from how it is behind the scenes.
I get banned especially when I write about the Mystery Shopper and how staff are drilled to be smiley, happy and friendly ALL day in a highly intense, fast-paced and stressful work environment. And no-one stops to think for a moment how this can be, except very few people. Staff are pressured to serve each customer within 1 minute etc. Customers go on Twitter to commend shop staff, which is great, but they don’t know what really is behind this “happiness” while team members work under fear management, depression, low pay and so on.
Former Pret employee who was fired for starting a Union, second tweet about the Mystery Shopper with the hashtag #EndTheMysteryShopper:
Collection of staff reviews on the fake and forced smiles, happiness, friendliness that is probed weekly by Mystery Shoppers:
What is shadow banning? Brief Wikipedia intro:
“Shadow banning (also called stealth banning, ghost banning or comment ghosting) is the act of blocking or partially blocking a user or their content from an online community such that it will not be readily apparent to the user that they have been banned.
By making a user’s contributions invisible or less prominent to other members of the service, the hope may be that in the absence of reactions to their comments, the problematic or otherwise out-of-favour user will become bored or frustrated and leave the site.”
What I don’t like with this definition, though is that the author of this Wiki entry calls the shadow banned user “problematic” as if to say they are a problem or trouble makers, while some may be, but many raise awareness. And while I don’t agree with certain political ideologies, as long as they don’t call to arms or promote violence or discrimination, freedom of speech should be protected and respected. The option to block individual users is always there. And funny enough, in Pret’s case, neither Pret nor its CEO block me! The reason for this is partly because their mentality has always been to collect anything they can use against people in case of a court case. And no joke, the CEO also has learned a few things that I suggested while I still worked in Pret and has taken the credit for it.
Pret is also regularly asking customers for input. But while this seems noble to involve customers in bringing their ideas, I pointed out somewhere else that it is very naive when Pret asked the public for recipe ideas that many people are happy to give recipes away without first having patented it. Thus Pret is making millions on the naiveté of customers! 😀
And I am not blocked so that Pret stays informed about my writings on them. Be my guest Pret A Manipulator!
Twitter lying about not shadow banning:
Quote: “We do not shadow ban, you are always able to see the tweets from accounts you follow (although you may have to do more work to find them, like go directly to their profile).”
In the same sentence they say they don’t and do shadow ban!
My own explanation:
First of all, many other social media platforms shadow ban and to my shock Facebook even deletes links to my blog in PRIVATE messages!! This goes too far and I am looking into options how to approach this, as a normal mail they often ignore. Twitter has ignored my contacting them regarding my notifications of my second account having been completely wiped out!
This link was just a link to my blog. I was able to do this many times before, but since recently, especially since I am aware of shadow banning, FB deleted many of my Facebook posts and some mails. But it doesn’t help, my message is still getting out. But deleting PRIVATE messages goes too far. I’m not a terrorist to be needing such censorship.
Also, I started another Facebook account with a brand new hotmail email address. But Facebook’s bot must have connected the new account to my LateNightGirl “campaign” and when I logged into my NEW and so far unused hotmail account connected with the new FB account, hotmail prompted me to enter my phone number as I supposedly sent a lot of emails. But I haven’t even sent ONE email as the account was a few days old and only in use for FB. So, FB must have informed Microsoft and they all are criss-crossing information! Unbelievable! You are made to be the villain while you raise awareness on toxic companies. Amazing.
Also on my second Twitter account I am since yesterday always prompted to verify with the phone number I signed up with. Usually when this happens it is because I sign in from another computer (different IP address) and Twitter gives the last two digits of my phone number. But since yesterday it seems that Twitter tries to confuse me to see if I have another phone number as it does not give me any digits:
Other Tweeters complain that from their several thousand of followers, hundreds disappeared without any reason. This is the tip of the iceberg that has been going on for years with the majority of people not even knowing this is happening.
But in my own explanation, shadow banning is like you are sitting behind a mirrored glass in a police investigation room, you can see people, hear them talking, but they don’t see or hear you. I found a perfect GIF to describe this:
So, basically the bottom line is that you tweet your heart out, click “like”, Retweet (RT), follow, comment etc. but your followers don’t get notified. People can only see your tweets when they go directly to your “Tweets & Replies”. But who does that except a new person coming across some tweets and is curious what you write about. It would never cross the minds of your followers to go to your Tweets directly, for what, they know they get notified when you tweet, “like” something, not knowing you are banned and behind this wall. Also, others are not notified when I send a direct message (DM) and vice versa. Other times I and they are notified, but I am not notified of new “likes” and responses to my Tweets… partly shadow banned and seems at random. Whoever is doing this just seems to have a laugh deciding one day to ban my likes, other times my DM etc.
Fellow blogger, Niki Flow put it in brilliant words, quote:
“This shadow-banning is nothing more than a loophole around freedom of speech and an abuse of power to silence people whose opinions differ from whatever engineer institutes this ban. Even more chilling, this banning is almost certainly being purchased and used to whitewash reputations and cover corruption.”
From her own blog entry in her comments section: Week 3 Goals
Please check out her wonderful blog and support her, she’s a great inspiration and support to me.
So, on the bans, before I was told that I was shadow banned, I’d notice that my Tweets weren’t visible when I was logged out after having clicked on some Twitter links from my blog for example. I didn’t see my response Tweets to a post on Twitter, I only saw them while logged in. This feels like you’re going mad!! Niki Flow also rightly pointed out that this should be made illegal.
Some good links:
- CNET article Shadow banning: What it is — and what it isn’t. Worth a read!
- Twitter’s statement (lie) about not shadow banning
- Undercover report on YouTube, well worth watching this 15 minutes hidden camera investgation:
At 1:22 mins the woman is saying: “We’re trying to down rank it… we’re trying to get the shitty people to not show up.”
“Lovely” people these big companies are!
- Reddit’s honest response to why they shadow ban
- more to come…
Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey’s hearing in Congress. This part is regarding shadow banning Democrats more than Republicans. The funny thing on Twitter is when I read the below hashtags that ALL sides are shadow banned! So, Trump supporters complain about Trump’s tweets being banned, Democrats complain they are being banned and it really seems like the above hidden camera investigation, where one of the Twitter staff says that he bans when he feels offended from a Trump content for example. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do NOT support Trump, but the way they censor is completely at their own discretion. Now this is the real serious stuff on China, Russia, political parties etc.
Jack Dorsey’s hearing:
This tester is outdated and needs to be reworked. I had conversations with one of the developers and they are aware and are working on an updated version as Twitter is a few steps ahead of this. I was happy to point out a few things on my own shadow bans which they didn’t even know was happening. So, this helps them develop a better program.
I see it in this way now, being shadow banned is more of an honour than a penalty for me. For one, I’m not alone, this happens to so many people if you take a look at the below hashtags on Twitter. And most importantly my Tweets, posts, writings are having an impact. As I am telling my story, not lying, having all the written evidence, and confront Pret and the CEO directly on Twitter, all they do via Twitter is to try and silence me. Well, thank you Pret for admitting that you have a lot to hide.
I also must say that this whole thing, writing my heart out and being shadow banned, has greatly relaxed me. Where I would normally get really anxious, nervous, angry and hectic in the past, especially during the darkest times in trauma, I am now just “chilled” and think, oh well, another ban. Yawn!
And I keep writing in a much more relaxed way. There comes a time when nothing matters anymore.
Please pass on the issue of shadow banning to everyone you know as this is still too hidden. It doesn’t need to be this blog entry, can be only the undercover hidden camera investigation on YouTube, Wiki etc. But please pass this issue on.
Thank you for reading, keep checking periodically as I’ll update with any new issues, as well as precise examples of my own bans with Screenshots, links etc. I will indicate any updates in the subject line with the date I added new info.
Have a wonderful ban-free time, and should you be banned, put your head up and keep speaking out as long as it is for information and the best and well-being of people and animals!!
I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote an article in the Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.
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