December 2, 2020

Social Media Doubles Down on Censorship

It’s doing even more since the election to silence conservative voices.

Following the election, Facebook and Twitter haven’t backed off their censorship practices in the least. In fact, they’ve doubled down, engaging in a blatantly politically biased effort to suppress any non-mainstream media stories that deal with election fraud. Using the tired excuse of righteously clamping down on “fake news” and misinformation, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg green-lighted the social media giant’s latest speech-squelching algorithm — its “break glass” plan.

As The New York Times recently reported, “It involved emphasizing the importance of what Facebook calls ‘news ecosystem quality’ scores, or N.E.Q., a secret internal ranking it assigns to news publishers based on signals about the quality of their journalism. Typically, N.E.Q. scores play a minor role in determining what appears on users’ feeds. But several days after the election, Mr. Zuckerberg agreed to increase the weight that Facebook’s algorithm gave to N.E.Q. scores to make sure authoritative news appeared more prominently [emphasis added].” The Times then helpful explained what constitutes “authoritative news”: The plan “resulted in a spike in visibility for big, mainstream publishers like CNN, The New York Times and NPR, while posts from highly engaged hyperpartisan pages, such as Breitbart and Occupy Democrats, became less visible.”

Nothing “hyperpartisan” about The New York Times! Nope. Not. A. Thing.

There is at least one exception to the censorship: China. Twitter merely labeled as “sensitive” a tweet from a Chinese communist apparatchik that contains a false depiction of an Australian soldier preparing to behead a child. As Gary Bauer notes, “Even though Chinese citizens are banned from using Twitter, the tech platform allows communist leaders to tweet whatever they want, while censoring legitimate news stories and almost anything President Trump says about the election.”

We in our humble shop can attest to Facebook’s abusive censorship practices. Any commentary that does not toe the mainstream media line is effectively “fact-checked” as “false” or “misleading” and the offending article or meme is removed and the rest of our account’s reach is throttled. Facebook and Twitter have been able to get away with this blatant censorship, acting as publishers while being legally classified under federal law as a neutral forum, like a public utility such as the phone company. Until this fraud is addressed and corrected, the best thing those interested in preserving free speech can do is to ditch Facebook and Twitter. As Power Line’s John Hinderaker cogently writes, “In considering whether we should leave left-wing social media platforms behind, I recall President Trump’s words, addressed to urban black audiences: what do we have to lose?”

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