Has the Tusker been shadowbanned?

The Tusker’s rise and fall has puzzled me and a few of its readers.

I have a Calvinist disposition to blame myself now for the fall, after having also quietly condemned myself too, for the sin of pride in the surge to May.

A friend has drawn my attention to an explanation which I have shied away from for fear of being accused of paranoia:

Even my blog [Craig Murray] has never been so systematically subject to shadowbanning from Twitter and Facebook as now. Normally about 50% of my blog readers arrive from Twitter and 40% from Facebook. During the trial it has been 3% from Twitter and 9% from Facebook. That is a fall from 90% to 12%. In the February hearings Facebook and Twitter were between them sending me over 200,000 readers a day. Now they are between them sending me 3,000 readers a day. To be plain that is very much less than my normal daily traffic from them just in ordinary times. It is the insidious nature of this censorship that is especially sinister – people believe they have successfully shared my articles on Twitter and Facebook, while those corporations hide from them that in fact it went into nobody’s timeline. My own family have not been getting their notifications of my posts on either platform.

People Need to Reclaim the Internet

In May, 44% of the Tusker‘s readers came from Twitter and Facebook. In June, it was 40%; in July, 38%; in August, 36%; in September, 27% and in October so far, 25%.

So, nowhere as dramatic a fall in traffic from those two sites as Craig experienced but a steady fall. What does it mean? I have no idea really.

In the same period Wings over Scotland, surged to almost 1 million visitors per month. In a recent Wings survey, the Tusker was initially excluded on the basis that RevStu had never heard of us. A much earlier survey by I can’t remember who, excluded the predecessor thoughtcontrolscotland.com as just an SNP site.

I am an SNP member and do tend to defend the Scottish Government though I have criticised the First Minister on matters of foreign affairs.

More than one friend of the Tusker has an explanation which I can’t help but like the sound of but recognise that it lacks any real evidential basis.

It’s this:

Wings is to be encouraged because its hostility to the current SNP leadership and to the Scottish Government, fragments and potentially weakens the independence movement, whereas the Tusker avoids promoting internal dissent, though sometimes biting its lip, and day after day just goes for the real enemies in politics and in the media.

Accusations of ‘green cheese’ seem likely now and I’m lactose intolerant!


39 thoughts on “Has the Tusker been shadowbanned?”

    1. Is the ‘new format’ not more recent than the decline? Is there any correlation between the two in time?

      If no time correlation, it’s hard to sustain a causation.

      John will know.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. MI5 and its sinister ways and how it pulls in allies to their cause
    And the payback & rewards down the line
    All discussed with the utmost of discretion and no doubt arm bending by informing those who will not come on board that they can always dig up the muck on them or tell them of what muck they already have
    I have no doubts whatsoever


  2. Think you are on the money here John. As I’ve posted before this is the most useful blog / source of information for people trying to find out what is really going on in Scotland.
    There’s a whole industry in Scotland with hundreds of so called journalists who spend their working day making sure Scots haven’t a clue of what’s happening here or being done to Scotland by Westminster. This site is the only alternative.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. I’m not very clued up on this stuff, but is it possible to devise an experiment to test a hypothesis? If this is might be issue for The Tusker and others in Scotland , it must be a more widespread phenomenon – if more widespread it’s likely, is it not, that the means of testing must be available somewhere?

        Or am I being too ‘logical’ based on my undoubted ignorance of digital media management?

        Is there a friendly ‘expert’ out there?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The 77th Brigade must be doing something all day long. What are we paying them for after all?
    It looks very like you’ve been deboosted. It is a badge of honour. If you weren’t annoying the unionists you would be boosted. WoS is enjoying the favour of unionist media and so will have every opportunity to spread the anti-SNP/Nicola Sturgeon gospel.
    You, on the other hand, are exposing the duplicity of the MSM in colluding with the Tories to undermine the Scottish people and its elected government. (Not to mention the vital public health message in this global pandemic).
    Well done. Keep calm and carry on!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I’ve just checked my own twitter account and got the same result as you did. Now I don’t have a blog and rarely tweet – mostly retweet interesting links – and have very few followers. Nevertheless, I do have a very clear pro-independence POV. Quite flattered to think they might take the trouble to deboost such modest player!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The theory about Wings absolutely makes sense. His blogs – and the resultant comments – are now so rabid and toxic that they can only benefit the Britnat cause. Inexplicably he doesn’t seem to realise (or care about) the damage he’s causing to the cause he claims to love. I’ve donated to his site in the past, but never ever again. Tusker all the way now.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Interesting indeed you have a few more followers now too. I share all posts on twitter, no one reads my fb pages, so don’t bother there..but maybe I should. I do see your tweets but rarely John…I mostly have to go to peoples’ specific twitter accounts to bypass the rubbish like, what people are having for their tea, which annoys the hell out of me. Some crap is retweeted supposedly by yessers but its’ so often innane it’s a bit unbelievable. It’s no doubt all being manipulated…
    I do get your posts via email, suspect many do not have WP accounts and don’t get new posts into their inbox etc…I only use WP to follow other sites and again there are many good ones, but recommended ones are quite often BritNat and actually have alot of followers.

    WoS is so far off the scale of sanity now it’s bizarre.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As soon as I read the Wings figure the reason was obvious. I’m just a bit miffed that you mentioned your friend’s theory because then I would have sounded original.

    I gave up on Wings on the lead up to the General Election when he got stuck into Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP. I had great difficulty in seeing how that was going to help. Indeed you could equally apply his theory about our First Minister being a Unionist sleeper to the the Rev I M Plant hissel.

    So your friend was spot on, if for no other reason, than that he/she agrees with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. O/T

    Just heard about the cleric from Paisley who is arguing that the Scottish Government should remove Covid-19 restrictions for Christmas Day. This headlined BBC Scotland’s TV news tonight.

    To support his argument, he draws the analogy with the World War 1 Christmas Day truce when enemy soldiers played a game of football.

    Was the key thing about this WW1 Christmas Day not the agreement, the certainty, that NO weapons would be fired?

    Does this cleric intend to call on his god to negotiate a ‘cease-fire’ to ensure all Coronavirus transmission stops for a day? And if he believes he can do this successfully, perhaps while he’s at it, he could ask for this virus ‘cease-fire’ to last a lot longer than a day!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think you are absolutely correct.
    For the reasons you have stated.
    Getting evidence will not be easy

    WOS has been poisoned it’s no longer a Scottish independence site
    How can it be when all it does is attack the only political party that can get us independence

    I think WOS had dreams of becoming a political party but didn’t get support for their ideas from SNP so they have decided to go the other way.

    Facebook Twitter Google in my opinion will be hard at work trying to undermine anything that supports Scottish Independence

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Cambridge Analytica will have changed it’s name and it’s location but it will still be active it was too successful to be abandoned.
        Facebook were involved with them so it’s likely twitter and google were too.
        There is nothing small about the break up of U.K.
        Twitter Facebook and google will all be affected by the break up of the U.K.


      2. There are 195 countries in the world. Three global corporations, all based in the US are not going to be so affected by their being 196 that they would invest any time blocking independence.

        Indeed all have something to gain from it. Advertising revenue.


  10. The very first reason you get might get shadowbanned:

    The most significant part of how the Shadowban Penalty gets activated, is your interaction with other accounts. Some of the most common ways people get caught in the Shadowban Penalty, are as follows:

    Language Use: Using language that is aggressive, combative, confrontational, or demeaning to tweet or to reply to other users, especially BlueCheckMarkaccounts:


    The Tusker?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I follow the Tusker specific twitter account and always see those tweets.

    As you’ve mentioned… you need more evidence.
    You need to compare the number of posts and the number of comments Received on this site versus the number of views, and the reach/impact of social media posts.

    And then there are external factors. The blog deals fundamentally with news. Speaking personally I had a big appetite for news (and the time to consume it) earlier in the year. But as restrictions eased and work ranked up again I had less and less capacity for news so avoided it.


  12. Interesting shape of curve. And as ever, without more data it’s impossible to tell why the drop in visits to the site. The surge in numbers does correlate in timing with the first lockdown/Covid-19 emergence – fear and panic can drive more people to seek alternative sources of news. Maybe they don’t feel the panic any more and are checking out the blog less and less – it IS a steady decline, not a sudden drop.

    Craig Murray says the shadow banning occurs on specific articles – have you noticed any specific articles that get less traffic than others? His readership is massive and is international, of course, and there will be more interested parties wanting to suppress his blogs. He hasn’t shown a map, but it’s possible he even has a reader from Greenland,,, maybe not, I haven’t noticed comments by anyone claiming to be from there.

    I think you need more specific data – on single articles for instance – before you can say if there is outside interference. But equally, anyone supporting independence will be a target for the security services.

    I don’t know why you’ve brought Wings into it – that just sounds like sour grapes to me. Maybe because it gives your regular contributors a chance for their favourite pastime of wings-bashing. Shoot-the-messenger style. What you don’t mention there either, is that RevStu has a complete ban on Twitter. But it’s him that’s in the employ of the establishment?? That makes no sense whatever.

    You may disagree with Wings’ way forward – and I expect you’ll be accusing Iain Lawson of terrible things too – but why is it so difficult to allow others space to express themselves as they wish? Why the venom? I think RevStu was maybe a bit harsh and too early with his ‘SNP-bashing’ – he was expecting everyone to just believe him while he could not present any evidence? Just the same as Nicola Sturgeon expects faith on no evidence… But, that’s the way RevStu is, not a gentle person. It doesn’t matter if you disagree with him – everyone should be allowed their opinion. And, let’s face it, these blogs are not exactly in the wider public domain – the influence folk seem to think is there doesn’t exist.

    Well, the evidence is being revealed, in dribs and drabs, in a convoluted, tangled mess. A good source of unentaglement is Gordon Dangerfield’s blog:


    If you are able to read it – and I suspect many here will deny that the evidence being analysed exists – you will see that the facts show that Nicola Sturgeon is dishonest, and has not been transparent, and is not a fair person.

    My own reasons for supporting this supposed SNP-bashing, are probably the same as most others – we need this sorted now, if there is to be any hope of independence before next century. No, I don’t expect politicians to be honest or fair in general, but we need something more from the SNP – the ability to take us through to independence – and Nicola Sturgeon has compromised the SNP and so our hope of independence. There is a scandal there waiting to break – there already IS a scandal, which is being delayed,,, so, I say get it out now (it’s coming anyway – be assured all your security services and BritNat top people know exactly what it is – all this is written down and so they have access) and DON’T wait for a week before the Holyrood election, which WOULD be disaster.

    The status quo is not good enough, and if the SNP don’t sort themselves out, I think we are in for a bit of a grim near future.

    No time is going to be convenient for revelations of a cruel conspiracy hatched within the Scottish government – it shames us all – but let’s try and make sure it’s not at the worst time possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Checked out the link. I think what Nicola may or may not have known and is prepared to admit to knowing or not knowing about Salmond allegations is irrelevant.
      Her ‘problem’ as FM is that she could not take sides in the affair. Dare I say that she could not have known at the time that he was innocent? And even if she were convinced of his innocence she would still have compromised her integrity by interfering in due process.

      Dark forces have siezed on this debacle to undermine the SG and our struggle for independence.


      1. Hi Alex, Gordon has written a good reply to someone on that subject – along the lines of: yes, she would have been stuck between a rock and a hard place, but if she’d come clean and said she’d had to take whichever decision at the time, she’d have been afforded much sympathy, and understanding. She hasn’t done that, and continues to lie, to deny she knew when she did (right from the start).

        It isn’t just about morality – she lied (and has continued to lie) to parliament – and that is a resignation offence under the ministerial code. So who knew what when is very much pertinent – the unionists are gunning for her and she has compromised herself – it was mad to think any SNP member would be allowed to cover anything up! – and if you are caught out lying you either stand down or there will be a vote of no confidence. There is no way out of that, it’s happening whatever else happens. The evidence is there, written down, so being silent on the matter won’t make a difference.

        (The irony is, of course, that in either parliament – the ministerial codes are the same near enough – it’s fine if you commit fraud, starve children or enter illegal wars – but woe betide anyone caught telling a porkie).

        The dark forces you talk of are Nicola Sturgeon herself, along with her own close associates; they have compromised the ScotGov, and independence. But this is where we – and many others – differ, you still believe she is an unwitting victim in all this – I believe she was the main player. They have caused the division, not us, though.

        We can hope for the least damaging outcome, and I believe that will be by getting this out in the open and done with as quickly as possible – we can all move on then, and focus on independence. I’m not saying it will be easy for anyone, but at least there will be a chance of independence still being on the radar after.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. OK but where is Leslie Evans in this? At the time she must have seemed the least bad option when appointed.
        It is WM which produces a list of candidates from which SG can only select. Why has she not been sacked? Again WM would produce a list of candidates they prefer for her replacement.
        I hope the enquiry will settle this distraction from the campaign for independence.


      3. Leslie Evans is central in all this. She has been involved in every part. Responsible for dealing with the complaints, when the final draft of their policy went through a very unusual and fundamental revision – the first ministers role was replaced by the permanent secretary. Evans is responsible for the judicial review that cost them so much, etc etc.

        No, she shouldn’t be in post at all. But Nicola Sturgeon made the wholly unnecessary decision to extend Evans’ contract – that doesn’t sound like NS thinks she’s the ‘least bad’ option to me.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. There are just too many things that seem ‘odd’, and that are indeed odd. It’s only when you accept the insidious nature of events and accept NS is, in fact, fully embroiled, or even the central character driving what can only be described as a conspiracy, that the behaviour makes sense. It’s not a nice thing to have to accept – we were all taken in by her to some degree, and so is upsetting on any level – but, as I said above, she is dishonest and has been very unfair (the favouritism she shows doesn’t depend on skills for sure), and is not someone deserving of your trust or faith. But you have to decide on a personal level who you want to trust and by how much, I’m just trying to emphasise that regardless of any trust or admiration, NS has compromised the future of independence with her behaviour and it’s going to be used against us at some point – it’s either now or at the worst possible time. You will be tying yourself in knots trying to second-guess the ‘cleverness’ of any of the behaviour – just the fact that folk need to second-guess anything at all demonstrates the lack of transparency (and, to my mind, the contempt NS has for us plebs).

        That the MSM has been largely silent on all these ‘scandalous’ details, while still sensationalising Alex Salmond accusations in detail, speaks volumes to me.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Contrary

      I do not see the FM surviving the Committee inquiry. Nor will three senior civil servants, one of whom seems to have recognised that already.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not sure what the committee has authority to do – I think they would have to recommend a public inquiry, and have that play out, before heads would roll. If there was resistance.

        Rarely do civil servants lose their job, I think, but certainly two or more of them will not remain in post – I think I’ve missed a development there though from your comment?

        The current behaviour, particularly the persistent lying, can only be delaying tactics – this is all written evidence, that starts to cover all the meetings and communications that were ‘forgotten’ and somehow accidentally didn’t get included in the government submissions – so NS must (?) know she’s got to stand down at this stage.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. I support you in what you say here.

      The remit of the Committee is fairly narrow: to consider and report on the actions of the First Minister, Scottish Government officials and special advisers in dealing with complaints about Alex Salmond,

      The latest blog post by Mr Dangerfield has a link to the Committee’s publishing some of the information put to the Court in the course of the Judicial Review. This reveals that, among other things, Mr Salmond was never made aware of the nature of the complaints against him. This was a reason for him to resort to the court.

      It is widely recognised as a principle of natural justice that a person who is the subject of the complaint should be told of the nature of the complaint and in sufficient detail for him/her to be able to put his/her account of the matter. This is known, I would guess to most Scottish lawyers and to most people in post in Human Resources down to relatively low levels.

      Though it is not their specialist remit in the HR section of the Scottish Government, I can’t imagine that such a principle is not known to Nicola Richards and Leslie Evans. (In her evidence to the Committee, Ms Richards jokingly referred to the possibility of looking for another job).

      In employment, when an individual’s performance of the job is seen as unsatisfactory there is usually a path to be followed. The employee is told of the perceived shortcomings and of the standards to be reached. He or she is given sufficient time to improve and offered support and training if necessary before the position is reviewed.

      A catastrophic failure of performance such as that in the JR may justify immediate dismissal.

      There is, I think, enough revealed already and more to be revealed via Gordon’s excellent blog to make me think that Ms Sturgeon is on borrowed time.

      The party (I am not a member) is already split.


      1. Hi Sam,

        I haven’t managed to finish reading the latest evidence submitted to committee – how annoying those [redacted] parts are! I’m so short of time these days (and have still to watch the session from yesterday too, it might be the weekend before I get a chance).

        I had forgotten about the reasons behind the judicial review – that Alex Salmond had not even been told what the accusations were. That Leslie Evans publicised the whole thing without even considering what is, as you say, a right of any individual, a scandal in itself. Evans is really not fit for office. I watched a bit of her first evidence session yesterday, and most of what she told the committe were outright lies: shown by subsequent evidence given. A real nasty piece of work there.

        Yes NS is on borrowed time – it looks like she plans on keeping borrowing it to the last too, until the committee concludes and publishes its findings I expect. Which is why there are constant delays from government I expect too. Her ‘plausible deniability’ on everything looks weaker by the day. If you are First Minister, you have to take responsibility for everything, that’s in the job description and part of the role you are paid the big bucks for.

        It’s speeding up the process I’m interested in now – there is no doubt that NS will have to stand down – it’s when that happens that will decide if it’s disaster or,,, less of a disaster. It’s her that has caused the division – in the SNP and in the yes movement – and I firmly lay the blame at her feet for that.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. At one time I got email notifications of new articles from John, but possibly that was an earlier website. I now get nothing and my twitter and facebook activity is minimal. However, I am perfectly capable of looking at this from time to time, variable depending on what else is going on, and can catch up.
    I appreciate the work John does to uncover and contradict many of the misrepresentations of Scottish affairs and find it useful but I also like to read many commentators to try to get a balanced view. I will look at Gordon Dangerfield and see what he has to say but not necessarily agree with it.


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