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Facebook Denies Shadow Banning, Receives Patent for Shadow Banning

Facebook Denies Shadow Banning, Receives Patent for Shadow Banning | 01 Aug 2019 | Facebook has continually denied that it participates in the practice of shadow banning -- a method of blocking a users' posts or comments from everyone except the user who made the post or comment. But a newly granted patent shows that Facebook not only does practice shadow banning, but wants to protect -- by patent -- the method it uses for doing so. Despite the fact that Facebook executives denied the practice in congressional testimony in April, the company was awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) earlier this month for an automated system that would "receive a list of proscribed content and block comments containing the proscribed content by reducing the distribution of those comments to other viewing users" while continuing to "display the blocked content to the commenting user such that the commenting user is not made aware that his or her comment was blocked." A better definition of shadow banning would be hard to write.