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
Is it "hate speech" when liberals call for people to commit suicide? Occupy Democrats, a very popular liberal Facebook page with more than 8.6 million followers, posted a screencap of a tweet on March 26 that wished for the suicide of two Republican senators.
Twitter released a policy stating that it would restrict and remove content that would “place people at a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19.” But while some articles are left up, other articles from conservative outlets receive the ban hammer. Conservative news outlet The Federalist was locked out of its Twitter account on March 26, 2020, for a piece written by dermatologist Douglas A. Perednia.
Actor James Woods has run afoul of the Twitter sheriffs — again. Sara Miller, his girlfriend, shared with Twitter on March 24 that her boyfriend had been locked out of Twitter, this time for sharing a picture of former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum.
Facebook currently relies on nine fact-checking organizations in the United States to help the platform “reduce” and “remove” problematic content. However, many of the people the company has put in charge of suppressing content are pushing a left-wing agenda.
Facebook covers posts and news stories that have been fact-checked and found false. While this policy has affected conservative media outlets, it hasn’t appeared to affect the liberal media as much. Until now. A Politico post about the coronavirus was fact-checked by the Daily Caller’s fact-checker organization, Check Your Fact.
Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey is not popular with a wealthy investor, who is allegedly seeking to make changes at the company. Elliott Management Corp., an investment company run by prominent Republican billionaire Paul Singer, has taken a stake in Twitter, in a story published by Bloomberg News on Feb. 28.
Twitter censored an account known for sharing videos from Wuhan showing scenes of a city on lockdown during the coronavirus. Harry Chen PhD, whose now-suspended account had 35,000 followers and claimed to live in China on his bio, had been cited in news outlets like Business Insider for his video showing lines of people buying masks “instead of the state providing them.”
Google in collaboration with Jigsaw is developing tools to measure subjective content online and rate it on a value scale. And scientists are taking it seriously. A study done by eight academics from various universities together in the iDrama Lab, found that online communities, particularly in the “Manosphere,” have “been orchestrating harassment campaigns and spreading extremist ideologies on the Web.”
A trillion-dollar company could be in trouble for copyright infringement, according to a lawsuit from tech company Oracle. Oracle, a technology company known for its database management systems, has been embroiled in a legal battle with Google since 2010. The company, which recently made headlines for a fundraiser held by founder and chairman Larry Ellison for President Donald Trump, maintains in a blog post that Google “copied verbatim 11,000 lines of Java code and then broke Java’s interoperability.”
For the second time, tech companies Apple and TikTok have declined to testify -- this time at a March 4 Senate hearing. “This is a troubling pattern,” wrote Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) on Twitter. “What are they hiding? Don’t they think these questions matter--and deserve answers?” The Washington Post wrote that Apple did not respond to any comment. TikTok, a Chinese video-sharing platform, responded that it would send someone to appear, just not next week. The hearing, announced by Hawley’s office, will be called, “Dangerous Partners: Big Tech & Beijing.”
Twitter apparently considers direct quotes from Bernie Sanders about Castro and Cuba too “sensitive” for some users to handle. A video posted by MRCTV, an arm of the Media Research Center, was censored as “sensitive content” by Twitter on Feb. 24.
Reddit will once again crack down on users and communities it considers undesirable. Buried in Reddit’s 2019 Transparency Report was a concerning update to its policies. Users who consistently upvote “policy-breaking content” in “quarantined communities,” like r/The_Donald, “will receive automated warnings,” followed by consequences like temporary and permanent suspensions.
The First Amendment covers freedom of speech and freedom of religion. But what if someone’s religion does not allow homosexuality? Facebook apparently deems that kind of speech to be “hate speech.” Facebook apparently deems that kind of speech to be “hate speech.” When the founder of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, Peter LaBarbera, posted on Facebook that he had a moral objection to Democratic candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg, his post was removed.
The liberal media sees working with President Donald Trump or Republicans as a black mark on one’s reputation. For The Washington Post, having a handful of Republican employees means that Facebook fears Trump and the GOP. The result was a 4,107 word story that was more a whine about Facebook not being left-wing enough.
Democrat candidate and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg tweeted a humorous video of his performance during the Feb. 19 debate. Liberal journalists wanted the video taken down. “There is no doubt that these videos are manipulated and dangerous,” an expert told Vox in reference to Bloomberg’s content. The video, which had crickets and reactions from other candidates edited in to create a statement, also extended the uncomfortable lack of response from the other candidates.
An automated service will no longer label people as male or female, according to a report from Business Insider. Google’s Cloud Vision API, a “computer vision” product that has the ability to “[a]ssign labels to images and quickly classify them into millions of predefined categories,” might be making some changes to two specific labels.
In his introductory statement made to the Department of Justice Section 230 Workshop, Attorney General William Barr discussed the problems brought on by the rise of Big Tech. “No longer are tech companies the underdog upstarts,” said Barr to the Feb. 19 panels. “They have become titans of U.S. industry.”
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.