(LifeSiteNews) –– Leader of the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) Maxime Bernier has said that Twitter was “shadow banning” his account right at the same time his run in a federal byelection in an area with high PPC support was gaining steam.
“Hey @elonmusk, I am the leader of a party that got 5% of the vote in Canada in the last election,” he began in his plea to Twitter CEO Elon Musk last Thursday on Twitter.
Hey @elonmusk, I am the leader of a party that got 5% of the vote in Canada in the last election.
I have been shadowbanned for weeks now, while running in a by-election. Check the test below.
I thought you got rid of the censors. Can one of your assistants check this please? pic.twitter.com/ZhvAZs9Hm0
— Maxime Bernier (@MaximeBernier) May 25, 2023
“I have been shadow banned for weeks now, while running in a by-election. Check the test below. I thought you got rid of the censors. Can one of your assistants check this please?”
In his tweet, Bernier showed a screenshot of a “shadow ban” test site, which showed his account was being restricted by Twitter.
Bernier’s spokesman Martin Masse told LifeSiteNews that it is hard to say why exactly he was being shadow banned – a term that means his posts are being secretly suppressed – because “we don’t know how the algorithms work and who decides these things.”
Masse said that before Musk bought the company, there were periods lasting months when the tweets “reached many people and our followers count was growing fast.”
He added that the new follower count was growing by almost a thousand a day during the last election campaign of 2021, and during the Freedom Convoy in the spring of 2022.
“Then there were months when we literally had no new followers, it was completely frozen at the same level for several months, and interactions were very low. Which is statistically impossible unless it’s manipulated,” noted Masse.
Masse stressed to LifeSiteNews that while they know there were “woke workers who were deliberately shadowbanning us” along with other conservative accounts, “because their manipulations were revealed after Elon bought Twitter,” he is not certain this is what is taking place now.
“Now it’s hard to say what’s going on. These woke censors are supposed to be gone, but we understand the company is still trying to fix the algorithms and it’s not always working properly,” he added.
Twitter explains ‘shadow ban’
Last Thursday night, Masse noted that someone from Twitter named Ella Irwin answered Bernier’s comment, saying that the account was temporarily labeled as containing sensitive material, or “Not safe for work” (NSFW) images, as it is known, because of “the image we tweeted of the reconstructed male ‘genitals’ of a trans person.”
Masse said other accounts had tweeted this image before.
According to Masse, a test he did on Friday showed that the “ban is gone.”
He noted that Irwin “didn’t say anything about shadowbanning on a longer period.”
Despite the apparent shadow ban being gone, Masse noted that Bernier’s increase in new followers “have both suddenly slowed down in recent weeks.”
“Some days it goes up and then goes down. Are they cleaning up the inactive accounts as some are saying? Why is this lasting for weeks? We don’t have any explanation,” he noted.
Masse stressed that Bernier and his team are not “accusing them (Twitter) of anything at this point,” as the company seems “more transparent than before Elon arrived.”
“We’re just hoping that the app becomes stable and we stop having these ups and downs,” he stressed.
Bernier brings abortion, gender ideology to forefront of by-election
Over two weeks ago, Bernier announced he is running in the upcoming Manitoba by-election in the federal riding of Portage-Lisgar, to be held on June 19. His campaign is focusing on the fight for traditional family values against a society “overtaken by evil,” including “transgender madness,” he has said.
Last week, Bernier promised his party would overturn a slew of extreme pro-transgender laws should it ever form government, after announcing his official policy on what he called an “evil agenda” of “radical gender ideology” targeting kids in the nation.
Bernier also announced that if elected as an MP in the June by-election, he will introduce a private member’s bill to try and ban late-term abortion, calling the practice “abhorrent.”
He has noted before that he opposes late-term abortion, and last year blasted the late-term killing of unborn babies as akin to genocide.
However, he has expressed that he is not completely against abortion in the early stages of pregnancy, but would allow his MPs to vote along their consciences with respect to life issues.
The nation’s top pro-life and pro-family group, Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), has given Bernier a C-plus grade, noting he has a mixed voting record on issues related to life and family, despite making a shift towards a more socially conservative stance in recent years.