Alexander Hall is a staff writer for MRC TechWatch
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Facebook has banned pro-Trump news outlet the Epoch Times from any further advertising on its platform. As NBC News observed, the organization “spent more money on pro-Trump Facebook advertisements than any group other than the Trump campaign.” The ban which NBC News reported August 22 will not scour Epoch Times content from the platform. Facebook's ban only impacts paper's ability to buy advertising.
After waves of criticism — from accusations of bias to firing employees for their political beliefs — Google has rolled out new internal rules for people of all political stripes. Don’t be political. Recode wrote about Google’s new rules, announced Thursday August 22, which include “restrictions on political expression and guidelines on internal debates about company activity.” The guidelines themselves forbid “disrupting the workday to have a raging debate over politics” and encouraged employees to report violations via a “central flagging tool.”
Twitter is one of the worst Big Tech offenders when it comes to silencing critics of liberal orthodoxy — even if you are African-American and gay. Then it depends on your politics. Conservative commentator Benji Irby, who has defended President Donald Trump and conservatisim to his own gay and black communities was recently censored after posting a video on YouTube.
Facebook has been stalking users’ internet history. Don’t believe it? Just ask ... Facebook. The company published an August 20 article via its Newsroom titled “Now You Can See and Control the Data That Apps and Websites Share With Facebook.” The piece assures Facebook users that “businesses often share data about people’s interactions on their websites with ad platforms and other services.” Facebook stated that this is a mere feature of the modern internet that must be accepted.
After years of being hammered by liberal talking heads for being too lenient about policing content, social media companies are considering radical changes to the social media landscape. Big Tech giants might begin to decide “what is true and what is false,” according to Axios.
Ready for a handful of liberal news sources and a maybe a conservative or two? How about a computer program that chooses what stories you should read? Facebook’s upcoming “News Tab” already sounds suspect. Especially, in light of previous attempts by the company to control its news feed. Facebook “will pay dozens of publishers to license content for News Tab, and news from many more will be included.” In Axios’ exact words “A small team of journalists will pick stories for a Top News section.”
Snopes official Twitter tweeted an article titled “Study: Too Many People Think Satirical News Is Real” and wrote that “stories published by The Babylon Bee were among the most shared factually inaccurate content in almost every survey of this research.” In this August 16 post, they were well aware that Babylon Bee is a satire website but have switched tactics to instead claim satirical news can be dangerous, saying “In a news cycle full of clownish characters and outrageous rhetoric, it’s no wonder satire isn’t fully registering with a lot of readers.”
Facebook is allegedly trying to monitor its workers’ psychiatric trauma sessions. According to a letter written by whistleblowers within Accenture, a Facebook contractor, “This pressuring of a licensed counselor to divulge confidential information is at best a careless breach of trust into the Wellness program and, at worst, an ethics and possible legal violation.”
Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) questioned whether Facebook was entirely honest in its previous Hill testimony about recording its users’ supposedly private conversations. Peters wrote in an Aug. 15 letter “regarding recent reports that, counter to your prior testimony to Congress, Facebook Inc. (Facebook), has collected, transcribed, analyzed, and used data from private audio conversations of Facebook users.”
Check for flying pigs, 5 LGBTQ+ YouTube channels famous for bearded drag queens, progressive politics, and sex-ed are agreeing with conservatives on censorship. No less than five channels have joined together for a lawsuit against YouTube and its parent company Google. According to Buzzfeed, they have accused the Big Tech platform of “hiding their videos, removing subscribers, and denying advertising.” They claim that certain keywords in the titles of their videos such as "gay," "transgender," or "bisexual," can get them penalized.
Project Veritas dropped a massive 950-page leak from Google whistleblower Zachary Vorhies that showed how the company allegedly manipulates search results. Among the topics Google/YouTube manipulated were pro-life advocacy, questioning various terror attacks, and several political organizations including the Heritage Foundation. The August 14 leak also explained how the “Twiddler” system lets Google/YouTube workers rank search results based upon what the companies want emphasized or de-emphasized.
In an explosive, f-bomb filled video, CNN Anchor Chris Cuomo threatened to throw his critic down a flight of stairs after he called him “Fredo” a reference to the pathetic middle child of the Corleone family in The Godfather film series. YouTube took down the video, but quickly restored it after both Don Jr. and the president himself blasted the company for the takedown.
Facebook has been recording audio clips of its users and paying contractors to copy what they say. According to Bloomberg, the employees, “who are not told where the audio was recorded or how it was obtained” are merely told to transcribe it. The anonymous workers explained how they are “hearing Facebook users’ conversations, sometimes with vulgar content, but do not know why Facebook needs them transcribed.”
A lawsuit against Facebook has ended in a loss for the massive social media platform. Reuters reported that a federal court ruled against Facebook, declaring that it illegally collected and stored biometric data of users without their consent. Shawn Williams, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, said “This biometric data is so sensitive that if it is compromised, there is simply no recourse.
The left has no problem with hiding behind activist teenagers, but will scapegoat a right-wing one if she criticizes them. YouTube, Google’s sister company, deplatformed a 14-year-old conservative girl after she made a video criticizing Pride Month. Her channel has been completely banned from YouTube.
A hashtag calling for violence against Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mcconnell has gone viral on Twitter. Trump 2020 Deputy Director of Communications Matt Wolking tweeted a screenshot that the #MassacreMoscowMitch hashtag was highlighted by Twitter as trending with 23,100 tweets so far.
Good news! After being exposed, Apple claims its contractors will stop listening in on your intimate moments, at least for a while. According to The Verge, “Apple has said that it will temporarily suspend its practice of using human contractors to grade snippets of Siri voice recordings for accuracy.” This came after a revelation from The Guardian where an anonymous whistelbower claimed that workers “regularly hear confidential medical information, drug deals, and recordings of couples having sex” as a common part of the job.
Instagram has gone to war with meme pages. The reason why is unclear. “Instagram seems to have purged most of the top meme accounts on the platform,” according to Insider. Reports indicate that pages with hundreds of thousands to millions of followers were suddenly purged on July 25 and 26. YouTuber and free speech advocate Tim Pool theorized in his video “The Great Meme PURGE Is Upon Us, Instagram BANNED 30+ Accounts” that this may be a calculated move ahead of the 2020 election.
The Big Tech company millions of Americans use as their gateway to the internet has proven time and time again that it’s not open to conservative thought. Quillette host Jonathan Kay interviewed former Google engineer Mike Wacker on July 4, about his May 2019 firing. Wacker sparked outrage airing his concerns about Google’s far-left monoculture -- an atmosphere, he told Kay, where “the political bias was so blatant and so obvious.”
A pro-life news website was booted from the Apple News platform without clear explanation on July 31. LifeSiteNews Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief John-Henry Westen contacted the Media Research Center’s Free Speech Alliance coalition requesting “help and the counsel” after being deplatformed for supposed “intolerance.”