Yesterday, an anonymous gay man accused Democratic Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey on Twitter of sexually assaulting him in a bathroom in 2014.
“Shadow-banning” is a controversial practice, revealed in a hidden camera video last year, where Twitter will prevent a user’s tweets from being seen by a wider audience. The user is generally unaware because it only affects the reach of their tweets; on their end, the platform looks completely normal. Twitter admitted to frequently using the tool to muzzle and silence conservative voices.
Booker’s victim, however, apparently realized that he was being shadow-banned after another user commented that his profile, @theedeepthroat, was unsearchable.
Apparently, the victim was able to confirm, tweeting: “Twitter is now shadow banning my account. I can’t say I’m surprised. But there’s nothing I can really do about this except to ask, if you follow me, please spread the word about this.”
To the user who alerted him to the possible shadow-banning, the victim added, “I actually tested it myself when I made my last post 6 hours ago and it certainly appeared to be suppressed. As of now, it doesn’t look to be the case anymore.”
The victim has not publicly released his name, but he’s being represented by civil rights lawyer Harmeet Dhillon. Dhillon has been largely mum on what she knows, but said that the victim is currently weighing whether or not to come forward.