Censorship of conservative content online by media tech giants has become an increasing problem in recent months. In May, the topic was receiving enough media attention that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy called on Amazon to stop censoring censoring the nation’s leading legal nonprofit focused on protecting religious freedom. Out of millions of organizations, Alliance Defending Freedom was singled out and targeted.
Even worse, several of these tech giants admit that rely on the discredited attack dog organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The censorship of conservative spokespersons and organizations has become so deliberate that last May, dozens of major conservative organizations banded together and wrote a letter of protest to tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, and Twitter demanding that they stop the censorship. The letter called for transparency on what algorithms or methods used for selecting content for censorship, and asked for a clarification on the definition of hate speech. The letter demanded that conservative be given equal footing on the various platforms to those with different worldviews. The letter concluded that to do otherwise is an infringement upon the First Amendment freedom of speech and expression.
Donald Trump even tweeted today about Twitter’s “shadow ban.”
Twitter “SHADOW BANNING” prominent Republicans. Not good. We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once! Many complaints.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2018
The situation has become bad enough that even liberal media outlets are calling out tech giants, like Twitter.
Lifenews reports that “Media Research Center (MRC) President Brent Bozell issued the following statement Wednesday in response to a report from Vice News that found Twitter is ‘shadow banning” prominent conservative leaders and members of Congress — impeding users’ access to their public profiles:”
Following a report from Gizmodo, left-wing news site Vice News has accused Twitter of “shadow banning” right-wing personalities, politicians, and political pundits.
In a piece, Vice proclaimed in the headline, “Twitter is ‘shadow banning’ prominent Republicans like the RNC chair and Trump Jr.’s spokesman.” According to the report, searches for Republican Party chair Ronna McDaniel, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) all do not automatically fill into the search bar when users begin to look up their accounts if they do not follow those accounts. The search also reportedly fails to list the verified account for Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).
Vice noted, “Not a single member of the 78-person Progressive Caucus faces the same situation in Twitter’s search.”
A Twitter spokesperson told Vice, “We are aware that some accounts are not automatically populating in our search box and shipping a change to address this.”
Although Twitter’s statement does not indicate that Twitter is enacting any policy to crack down on conservative accounts, when pressed by Vice for why Republican-related accounts are the only ones appear to be impacted by “shadow banning,” the spokesperson said, “I’d emphasize that our technology is based on account *behavior* not the content of Tweets.”
The Media Research Center has organized a coalition of over forty organizations called Conservatives Against Online Censorship who are coming together to fight online censorship.