Tesla employees claim Twitter suspended their union’s account

Tesla workers at the company’s Gigafactory in Buffalo, New York, have accused Twitter of hiding a newly created union account from their search bar, reports VICE News(Opens in a new window).

The workers who announced their intention(Opens in a new window) to form a union called Tesla Workers United on February 14, filed an indictment with the National Labor Review Board (NLRB) on Friday, claiming their Twitter account had been suspended in the shadows.

Tesla and Twitter CEO Elon Musk was named in the NLRB filing, which read: “In February 2023, immediately after workers announced a union campaign at the Tesla Gigafactory 2 facility, the aforementioned employer, by CEO Elon Musk and/or its agents and representatives caused the union Twitter account (@united_tesla) to be suspended from the Twitter platform.”

The filing continued, “The shadow ban resulted in the union’s account on Twitter being less accessible and functionally hidden from workers and the public, halting or discouraging protected concerted and/or union activity.”

PCMag searched for “united_tesla(Opens in a new window)‘ on Twitter, and the group says neither the union’s account nor the tweets posted by the account were visible in search results. Instead, only results that mention or flag the association are displayed.

Workers campaigning for the union are responsible for labeling data from Tesla’s Autopilot technology, Engadget notes(Opens in a new window). Tesla employees at the Buffalo Gigafactory also accused the company of monitoring their keystrokes(Opens in a new window) to check how much time they spend on each task and said Tesla illegally fired(Opens in a new window) Dozens of workers for attempting to unionize. These workers reportedly included a member of the union’s organizing committee.

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In a comment(Opens in a new window) On its website, the electric vehicle maker slammed claims that the layoffs were unlawful, saying the decision to lay off the workers was made on February 3, well before union organizing plans were announced on February 14.

Twitter did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request for comment on the shadowbanning allegations.

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