Retaliation: Twitter Users Who Search for the word 'Racist' Get an Unexpected Result

(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
AP featured image
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on ‘Foreign Influence Operations and Their Use of Social Media Platforms’ on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)


On Friday, several Twitter users discovered when they entered “racist” in the search field, and then clicked on the “people” tab, the first account to come up is @realDonaldTrump.


I just entered the search and the result is the same (2:15 pm).

A member of the CNET staff contacted Twitter and a spokeswoman informed them:

The results come from the platform’s algorithm. If enough people mention an account and include the word “racist,” the account will appear in searches for that word, meaning users can flood particular accounts with negative terms to lock in a certain narrative.

Trump has been feuding with Twitter for a long time. The latest round began the week before last after two of Trump’s tweets, in which he said that mail-in election ballots would lead to voter fraud, were labeled as “potentially misleading” by Twitter.

Afterward, CNN wrote a post which said that Trump had made an unsubstantiated claim that mail-in ballots will lead to voter fraud. “These claims are unsubstantiated, according to CNN, Washington Post and others. Experts say mail-in ballots are very rarely linked to voter fraud.”


On May 28, President Trump signed an executive order to diminish the “legal protections that shield Facebook, Twitter and other online companies from liability for content posted by their users.”

Before signing the order Trump said he was acting to “defend free speech from one of the gravest dangers it has faced in American history. A small handful of social media monopolies controls a vast portion of all public and private communications in the United States. They’ve had unchecked power to censor, restrict, edit, shape, hide, alter, virtually any form of communication between private citizens and large public audiences.”

The next day, Twitter retaliated. On May 29, Trump posted a two part tweet about the violence in Minneapolis. The second part of the tweet was “veiled” by Twitter. The message from Twitter said, “This tweet has violated Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.” The user can click on “view,” if having been warned, they would still like to read it.

A Twitter spokesperson said they veiled the tweet because of the “historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today.”


Here is the original tweet.

This past week, the Center for Democracy and Technology sued Trump, “alleging that the order violates the First Amendment and is a retaliatory move against Twitter.”

Although Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites deny it, it’s become obvious to all that they censor conservative content.


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