Shadowbanning on social media is real and here's the proof
Donald Trump attacked the left wing bias of social media in a series of searing tweets that left no doubt about the danger their "shadowbanning" of right wing voices can be.
Social Media is totally discriminating against Republican/Conservative voices. Speaking loudly and clearly for the Trump Administration, we won’t let that happen. They are closing down the opinions of many people on the RIGHT, while at the same time doing nothing to others.......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 18, 2018
.....Censorship is a very dangerous thing & absolutely impossible to police. If you are weeding out Fake News, there is nothing so Fake as CNN & MSNBC, & yet I do not ask that their sick behavior be removed. I get used to it and watch with a grain of salt, or don’t watch at all..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 18, 2018
Social media giants can swear on a stack of bibles that they don't attempt to undermine alternative voices. They only target "hate speech" and "fake news" they claim.
The truth of the matter can be found in the numerous experiences of conservative posters whose copy has been deleted or blocked.
One such poster, Doug Wead, relates an extraordinary story for which Google, owner of YouTube, has no defense. Wead served two Republican presidents and is a respected commentator. He writes in The Federalist:
Almost a year ago, an employee noticed a YouTube video at the top of a “Doug Wead” search and wondered how it got there. It wasn’t related to the date, the view count, or anything else that they could determine. But since it was there, at Google’s omniscient discretion, we decided to do something we had never done before: buy an ad to promote it. That’s when our troubles began.
Within days, Google blocked my ad and informed my team that we had violated their policies. I called Google. The problem, they explained, was that the video had hate speech.
It was a Fox Business News video with Trish Regan interviewing me about the Russian collusion investigation. The Google employee could not find the exact offending words, but referred me to various other supervisors up the ladder.
It took much of the day listening to elevator music as I waited, playing “Civilization V” interspersed by brief conversations with successive employees reciting Google policies that they admitted explained nothing. We concluded I should re-submit the ad and whoever was offended at Google would be forced to surface.
Once again my ad was blocked, and this time my Google account was suspended. I felt like Roseanne Barr. Once again I called Google and spent a day trying to figure out what was wrong. “This call may be monitored,” they announced, and I announced back that I would do the same. So the discussion began. Was I too nice to President Trump? Should I have been more critical? Was it something Regan had said? She seems to fairly cover all sides of an issue. Why would they have a problem with her?
Google employees appeared to be baffled. Could they call me back tomorrow, they asked? The next day, Nurse Ratched at Google finally emerged. I was never given her name, but conversations with her employees indicated her sex. It was nothing that I or Regan had said in the video, her team explained. Huh?
No, no, the problem, I was told, was in the “crawler of words along the bottom of the video.” It was a quote of Trump declaring that the Robert Mueller investigation was a “witch hunt.” This was apparently hate speech.
As fantastical as that sounds, it apparently happens with regularity. John Stoessel of ABC News relates another example on YouTube:
.@YouTube has added a disclaimer to my global warming video, saying: "evidence show[s] that the climate system is warming."— John Stossel (@JohnStossel) August 15, 2018
I say that in my video, too. But does YouTube really need to inject its opinion? Is there no room for nuance?https://t.co/yvSuiUj6j6
It should be noted that as private companies, social media sites can censor, discriminate, edit, or delete any content they wish. They don't need to explain or justify any decision they make in this regard.
So "bias" is not the problem. The issue is how they market themselves as virtuous, autonomous, non-political entities. The towering hypocrisy of Facebook, Twitter, and Google in defining themselves as white knights only becomes more nauseating the more you understand the personal political leanings of management.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said on Saturday that he "fully admit[s]" Twitter employees share a largely left-leaning bias after facing accusations that conservatives are discriminated against on the social media platform.
In an interview that aired Saturday on CNN, Dorsey said his company has a responsibility to be open about its political viewpoints, but to operate without bias when applying content policies to users.
"We need to constantly show that we are not adding our own bias, which I fully admit is...is more left-leaning," Dorsey says.
"But the real question behind the question is, are we doing something according to political ideology or viewpoints? And we are not. Period," he added.
This reminds me of FBI officials solemnly assuring us that even though they hate Trump and supported Hillary Clinton, there was no bias in their investigations.
Dorsey's assurances ring hollow when placed against the growing evidence that there is a deliberate, conscious effort afoot by social media platforms to silence conservatives - especially if they support Donald Trump. No one believes their denials - not even Bill Maher, who said on his sho
w Friday, “That’s free speech for the speech you hate. That’s what free speech means. We’re losing the thread of the concepts that are important to this country."
If people like Dorsey can't recognize the problem, there is no solution.