Ashley Rae Goldenberg
Ashley Rae Goldenberg is a reporter for MRCTV.
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A little over a week after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey diverged from other tech giants by stating that Alex Jones would be held to the same standard as every other account, rather than succumbing Twitter succumbing to outside pressure to ban him, Twitter has given Jones a temporary seven-day suspension.
On Tuesday, Twitter announced vague plans to crack down on accounts that have attempted to evade Twitter suspensions by creating new accounts. In a tweet posted by Twitter Safety, the company said, “This week, we are suspending accounts for attempting to evade an account suspension. These accounts were previously suspended for abusive behavior or evading a previous suspension, and are not allowed to continue using Twitter.”
On Friday, Facebook announced a new policy that will require Facebook Pages with large U.S.-based audiences to go through an authentication process. According to Facebook, this will help crack down on fake accounts. As Facebook explained, Facebook Pages, which are different from individual personal Facebook accounts, will be required to go through a two-factor authentication process to secure their accounts and verify their “primary country locations.”
Facebook is ironically blocking links from people who try to share the website CodeIsFreeSpeech.com, as the site contains links to blueprints for 3D printed guns.
Just a day after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said Twitter did not suspend Alex Jones’ account because he has not violated the site’s rules, Twitter indicated that evolving rules might be used against him.
Amidst allegations of shadowbanning conservatives, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sat down for an interview with Fox News Radio’s Guy Benson. During the conversation, Dorsey portrayed Twitter’s “conversational health” initiative as something intuitive and compared the company’s measures to drinking lemon water when you have a fever.
Google is reportedly considering launching a search engine in China in compliance with censorship demands by the government, according to a report in The Intercept. The Intercept report claims project Dragonfly has been around since last year, although “knowledge about Dragonfly has been restricted to just a few hundred members.” An alleged insider, however, told The Intercept the search engine will block results related to “human rights, democracy, religion, and peaceful protest.”
On Tuesday, Facebook announced that it removed 32 profiles and pages that it suspected “coordinated inauthentic behavior” on the site. Of those 32 pages, Facebook said the most popular pages were ones such as “Resisters,” “Aztlan Warriors,” and “Black Elevation,” some of which promoted liberal political narratives.
InfoWars founder Alex Jones is currently in the midst of a 30-day Facebook suspension for allegedly violating the site’s rules against “bullying” and “hate speech.” It has even resulted in surprising support from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Jones has said extreme and untrue things, such as falsely asserting that the shooting of six-year-old kids at Sandy Hook was fake.
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).
Facebook admitted it made a “mistake” when it rejected the pro-gun advertisement posted by a Republican running for agricultural commissioner in Florida. State Rep. Matt Caldwell’s 15-second advertisement features him skeet shooting and saying, “I like guns. I love the Second Amendment. And I support our president. That’s why I’m endorsed by the NRA.”
Starting in August, anyone with access to a 3D printer can yet again download the blueprints to print their own firearms at home. In response, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America launched an online campaign to “#StopDownloadableGuns.”
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responded to criticism of the site and suggested that the company might be able to “determine credible voices per topic in real-time.” Dorsey was answering complaints from New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman who faulted “that everyone is treated as equally expert on various topics.”
Shortly after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fl.) brought up violent Facebook threats against Republicans during a congressional hearing, the page vanished from Facebook. Facebook, however, says it is not responsible.
In a departure from President Trump’s previous attitude towards Silicon Valley, Trump on Thursday tweeted a defense of Google against a fine levied by the European Union.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has recently been trying to strike a balance between cracking down on fake news, hoaxes, and hate speech and allowing a diversity of opinions on the site. In a recent interview with Recode, Zuckerberg took one of his strongest approaches in defense of free speech on the platform.
President Trump’s team appears to be bucking the mainstream media for positive publicity and, instead, is relying on Facebook advertisements. A study shows that from May until June, Trump and his political action committee have reportedly spent approximately $274,000 on Facebook ads.
Liberal news sources appear to have a problem with more than just InfoWars: now they’re going after the Daily Caller. According to The Wall Street Journal, during an off-the-record meeting with Facebook last week, editors from BuzzFeed and HuffPost took offense to even including the Daily Caller in the meeting.
CNN attempted to test the limits of Facebook’s new campaign against fake news by questioning the presence of InfoWars on its site.
On Monday, YouTube announced a $25 million investment in the “future of news.” According to its official blog, one of the three members of YouTube’s original working group is Vox Media, which runs liberal news site Vox.com.