Selwyn Duke
Is "statistics shadowbanning" the latest big-tech salvo against Conservatives?
By Selwyn Duke
October 23, 2018

With perhaps the most significant midterm election in decades nigh, big tech's censorship of conservatives has kicked into high gear. And while Facebook's recent purge of right-leaning pages is obvious and has made news, perhaps just as destructive is the stealth censorship. A good example may be the report of WordPress' "statistics shadowbanning" of Whatfinger News.

Whatfinger is an increasingly popular news aggregator that is run by military veterans; it's like a non-establishment version of Drudge, only more comprehensive, more conservative, and more interesting.

And assuredly more targeted for destruction.

According to Whatfinger, the blog Fellowship of the Minds (FOTM) and other sites that have contacted Whatfinger, WordPress is now hiding referrals from the aggregator, a strategy that could alienate sites from Whatfinger by making them think it sends them no traffic. This would be a type of shadowbanning, which is "the act of blocking or partially blocking a user or their content from an online community such that it will not be readily apparent to the user that they have been banned," as Wikipedia correctly puts it.

And what is the variation "statistics shadowbanning"? Put simply, let's say a site is sending you 1000 hits a day. Instead of recording and presenting this to you, your statistics service tells you that you have far fewer visits from the site – or none at all.

This is precisely what WordPress, a popular open-source website-creation company, is doing to Whatfinger, reports the aggregator and FOTM. As the latter wrote Oct. 13, "Each day, we get hundreds and often thousands of referrals from Whatfinger, for which FOTM is most grateful. Beginning yesterday, I noticed something odd: There were no referrals from Whatfinger!"

It doesn't seem that this was a mere glitch, as FOTM reports that WordPress stats were still presenting hits from other entities – just not Whatfinger. Moreover, it's not just FOTM reporting this odd phenomenon, either. As Whatfinger wrote in a statement:
    Many sites have now sent screenshots, sites that we send thousands of people to daily who are all noticing WordPress 'shadowbanning of stats' – we all now need to know the truth. Are all conservative sites targets? Will they blame some algorithm as Facebook likes to do? Can't be just Whatfinger, since we are new and nowhere near the size of other sites just yet.
As for FOTM's situation, its administrator provides more detail, writing:
    ...I went to FOTM's stats page, only to discover that WordPress had changed the referrals of the day before, Oct. 11, to remove all referrals from Whatfinger! The problem is, a day before, I had seen thousands of referrals from Whatfiinger [sic], which now had vanished, retroactively expunged by WordPress.

    I then clicked on the referrals for September 29, 2018 – a day when FOTM had a record 35,438 unique views. I remember seeing there were thousands of referrals from Whatfinger that day, which WordPress now has retroactively expunged....
This matters because traffic is websites' lifeblood – and your apparent traffic level will determine your marketability. Why would people advertise on your site, for instance, if they believe you offer little exposure? No advertising means no revenue, and this means a restricted capacity to spread your message.

Of course, this is precisely what left-wing Big Tech wants to do to conservative sites: wither them on the vine. GoogTwitFace (and WordPress can now be thrown in) also wants to control public opinion and thus defeat the GOP in November, as it seeks to establish leftist hegemony.

Big Tech also no doubt has a very immediate aim, too. The Republicans may be moving toward taking antitrust action against GoogTwitFace. So Big Tech is racing to forestall this: If it can help the Democrats flip the House of Representatives, guess what?

That antitrust threat goes bye-bye.

Then Big Tech can continue suppressing Truth, facilitating tyranny (e.g., Google's aiding of the Chinese government) and making money via its near monopoly. It's one dark, malevolent hand washing the other, as the Democrats provide protection in exchange for continual de facto campaign contributions in the form of propaganda favoring their cause and the suppression of any truth contradicting it.

To put this in perspective, imagine living under a tyrannical government that indoctrinates people with an approved ideology and won't let others even hear your ideas. Under a worst-case scenario, such censorship is essentially what Big Tech could visit upon us, as it now controls the public square. Sure, these would be private-sector machinations and thus wouldn't violate the First Amendment.

But the practical effect is the same.

You can't win political power unless you can win the political debate, and you can't win the political debate if you're removed from it. A mouth muzzled – whether by big gov. or Big Tech – utters precisely the same thing: nothing.

And that's all Big Tech wants to hear from traditionalists. Voice of Europe reports that in "the past[,] the account of Whatfinger was already shadow banned by Facebook, Reddit and other sites, according to the owner[,] for supporting President Trump and criticising Islam."

So that's Big Tech, advancing little minds and big lies – and inviting big destruction.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to

© Selwyn Duke


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)


Stephen Stone
HAPPY EASTER: A message to all who love our country and want to help save it

Stephen Stone
The most egregious lies Evan McMullin and the media have told about Sen. Mike Lee

Siena Hoefling
Protect the Children: Update with VIDEO

Stephen Stone
FLASHBACK to 2020: Dems' fake claim that Trump and Utah congressional hopeful Burgess Owens want 'renewed nuclear testing' blows up when examined

Curtis Dahlgren
Hammer & Tickle: A cultural history of Communism by Ben Lewis, 2009

Jerry Newcombe
The Bible and public policy

Frank Louis
Frank’s fair trade theory: Replacement theory for everyone

Pete Riehm
When the government is lawless, the people turn to an outlaw

Victor Sharpe
The left's lies: A warning for America's very survival

Michael Gaynor
Who Will Make the Finals and Win the Upcoming Presidential Race?

Stephen Stone
‘Teach Your Own’

James Lambert
Illegal alien entry through California border has dramatically increased of late

Rev. Mark H. Creech
‘No other gods before me’: The first commandment’s national significance

Linda Goudsmit
CHAPTER 23: Legalizing pedophilia—The Sorensen Report

Randy Engel
A Documentary: Opus Dei and the Knights of Columbus – The anatomy of a takeover bid, Part IX

Jerry Newcombe
A politically-incorrect prayer
  More columns


Click for full cartoon
More cartoons


Matt C. Abbott
Chris Adamo
Russ J. Alan
Bonnie Alba
Chuck Baldwin
Kevin J. Banet
J. Matt Barber
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
. . .
[See more]

Sister sites