Corinne Weaver is a staff writer for MRC TechWatch
Corinne Weaver works as a senior analyst for the Media Research Center. As the Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow, her coverage on tech censorship, media bias, and pro-life issues have been cited by many in the conservative movement. Corinne’s work has been featured in Fox News, the Guardian, LifeSiteNews, and the Federalist. Before her current position, Corinne graduated from Christendom College with bachelor’s degrees in English and History.
Latest from Corinne Weaver
Instagram announced in May of 2019 that it would be fact-checking and “reducing distribution” for what it considered to be “disinformation.” Since then, it seems to be targeting pro-life content. Brazilian third-party fact-checker Aos Fatos reviewed and labeled a story from pro-life news organization LifeNews as “Falso” on Feb. 14. Instagram, a sister company to Facebook, took the rating (which was not in English) and censored LifeNews’ story, covering the image with a filter that users had to click through in order to see.
Twitter defines “sensitive content” as something that might contain “violence or nudity.” So why did a photo of a Nascar racer and the president get flagged by the platform as potentially sensitive content? NASCAR star Hailie Deegan posed for a picture with President Trump and first lady Melania Trump at the Daytona 500 on Feb. 16. After she posted it to Twitter, some of her followers noted that the photo was covered by Twitter’s “sensitive content” filter. Memer and influencer Carpe Donktum (known for his memes that have been retweeted by Trump) tweeted a screenshot of Deegan’s post as it appeared on his feed.
Major social media platforms are removing Iranian disinformation and coordinated behavior from their platforms. But Republicans don’t think that’s enough. Four Republican senators wrote a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Feb. 6 saying that the company needed to halt its services to U.S.-sanctioned Iranian leaders.
A wealthy billionaire tech CEO has endorsed the economically irresponsible concept of a universal basic income. Unfortunately for him, its advocate Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang has dropped out of the race. Twitter head Jack Dorsey tweeted after the news of Yang’s departure broke, “Really sad Andrew is dropping out.” The tech giant, who is worth $5 billion according to Forbes, thanked Yang “for bringing universal basic income back into the national conversation.”
Twitter is already cracking down again on actor James Woods after his recent return to the platform. The conservative Woods, who took a nine-month break from Twitter starting in April 2019, returned Feb. 6 with a clap back at Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) might not be strong enough to take on Big Tech anymore, says Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MI). In a Feb. 10 proposal, the senator, who has made a name for himself pursuing the investigation of Big Tech companies like Google and Facebook, stated that Congress needed “to overhaul the FTC and bring it into the 21st century.”
Amazon has decided to quietly crack down on books it deems offensive. But the company’s enforcement of standards seems lopsided at best. The New York Times reported that third-party booksellers on Amazon have been forbidden from selling copies of books written by David Duke, a former leader of the KKK, and George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party.
Twitter bans accounts for transphobia and won’t allow pro-life organizations to run ads on its platform. But a cartoon encouraging terrorism is apparently allowed to spread.
President Donald Trump tweeted an edited video that showed Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi repeatedly tearing up the State of the Union speech, with other clips of the president’s successes pieced in the video. Democrats were outraged. “The latest fake video of Speaker Pelosi is deliberately designed to mislead and lie to the American people,” said Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill.
Do YouTube’s hate speech policies try to protect even demonic entities? A video produced by The Catholic Talk Show entitled, “7 Secrets Catholic Exorcists Want You to Know,” was deleted by YouTube for violating hate speech rules. A video produced by The Catholic Talk Show entitled, “7 Secrets Catholic Exorcists Want You to Know,” was deleted by YouTube for violating hate speech rules.
President Donald Trump’s presence on Twitter receives almost countless mentions in the media. Imagine what that’s done to Twitter’s notoriety. The social media platform Twitter has gone up in market value significantly since Trump’s election in 2016, according to Forbes.
Disinformation is the new buzzword for the left to push for more censorship on Twitter. While results from the Iowa Caucus are still being counted, journalists from the left want tweets from the right taken down. “Trump campaign folks are tweeting veiled suggestions Iowa is ‘rigged,’” tweeted Washington Post senior tech policy reporter Tony Romm.
The Chinese social media app TikTok, which has become one of the most popular apps for youth in the United States, has banned pro-life group Live Action. The organization’s founder, Lila Rose, tweeted on Jan. 31, 2020, “TikTok has just BANNED & permanently removed Live Action from the platform.”
Two conservative outlets have complained that their livestreams of the Senate impeachment trial have been taken down—for no apparent reason. Judicial Watch’s president, Tom Fitton, noted that the organization’s livestream of the impeachment trial was halted mid-stream. YouTube claimed that the stream was “violating ‘community standards,’” according to Fitton’s Jan. 21 tweet. While the stream still remains on Judicial Watch’s feed, it was not allowed to continue.
Even Facebook admits the 2016 Trump campaign benefited from the platform. But the liberal media try to interpret the use of a tool as something sinister. State-funded PBS thinks both President Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin worked to use social media against the Democrats.
Leading journalists and editors around the world have some advice for social media companies: there needs to be more censorship. In a 2020 report released by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, 233 people from 32 countries, including the United States, complained about misinformation in tech and where it stands in relation to journalism.
Only Hollywood can so fantastically misunderstand a free speech policy and protest its existence. Actor Mark Hamill (Star Wars) announced on Twitter that he was deleting his Facebook account in order to take a stand against the policies that the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended.
The media and Democrats want to limit Facebook ads before the 2020 election. But Facebook refused to cave in to their demands. In a Jan. 9 blog post published by Facebook Director of Product Management Rob Leathern, the company argued that “we don’t think decisions about political ads should be made by private companies.”
Democrats and the media have blamed Facebook for President Trump’s win in 2016. Now Facebook is firing back. Facebook Vice President of AR/VR Andrew Bosworth wrote an internal memo defending Trump’s 2016 campaign. Facebook Vice President of AR/VR Andrew Bosworth wrote an internal memo defending Trump’s 2016 campaign. He wrote, “Parscale and Trump just did unbelievable work. They weren’t running misinformation or hoaxes.
Popular blogging forum Tumblr wants its users to beware of fake news online. The company, owned by WordPress company Automattic, launched a campaign called World Wide What. The company, owned by WordPress company Automattic, launched a campaign called World Wide What. In the form of a Tumblr blog, the campaign shares articles from The Washington Post about how students believed that the pro-life American College of Pediatricians was a more reliable source than the American Academy of Pediatrics.