Twitter is secretly boosting 35 VIP users including Lebron James, AOC, catturd2, and Ben Shapiro: report

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  • Twitter engineers may have ensured that tweets by VIPs like Elon Musk are more visible than others.

  • A report by Platformer revealed that 35 people have had their posts boosted by Twitter's algorithms.

  • This means that their tweets automatically bypass an algorithm meant to cap a Twitter user's reach.

Twitter is secretly boosting the accounts of 35 VIP users over others, per a new report from Platformer.

Zoë Schiffer, Platformer's managing editor, cited internal documents from Twitter that listed 35 VIP users who have their posts monitored and promoted for greater visibility.

Schiffer published 14 of the 35 names on the list, which included Lebron James, the NBA star; Mr. Beast, a prominent YouTuber; Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the US politician; Ben Shapiro, the conservative commentator; and Twitter's own CEO, Elon Musk.

The list also included the pro-Trump commentator, catturd2, with whom Elon Musk has had many Twitter conversations.

Twitter engineers have ensured that tweets by these VIP users will automatically be more visible than others, Platformer said. The VIP users' tweets also bypass a Twitter algorithm which prevents too many posts from a particular user from being viewed, per Platformer.

The 14 names listed also appeared to span the political spectrum. President Joe Biden was on Platformer's list of the 14 users, but not former President Donald Trump — though the latter now posts exclusively on Truth Social, despite having his Twitter account reinstated in November.

Not all the people on the list are Musk's fans. The Twitter CEO has a storied history of publicly feuding with Ocasio-Cortez. In December, Musk got into a Twitter spat with Ocasio-Cortez, during which she told him to "lay off the proto-fascism" and put his phone down.

Platformer did not publish the full list of Twitter accounts to protect the identities of their sources.

The publishing of this list comes after a December article from Platformer, which reported that Musk was asking Twitter to tweak Twitter's code to make his posts more visible.

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, per a separate Platformer report in February.

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.

Representatives for Musk did not immediately reply to Insider's request for comment sent outside regular business hours.

Insider contacted Twitter for comment via an email to its press department. The company responded with an automated message that did not address Insider's queries.

Read the original article on Business Insider