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
The media is hyping the Global Climate Strike, especially in the United States, where 800 marches were planned. Tech companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Wikipedia have large bodies of employees who are going on strike. But are these people in touch with what Americans care about? Google Trends tweeted “In the last few weeks, we’ve been exploring how people search for the environment.
Note to lefty special interests: Pick on the Big Tech companies. They’re pushovers. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced at the National Press Club on September 19 that he was making massive changes to Amazon in order to fight climate change. More than 1,500 Amazon employees pledged to walk out on strike on September 20 as part of the Global Climate Strike along with other tech employees from Google and Microsoft.
Another academic study has determined that certain common phrases used on Twitter are “aggressive” or “bullying.”
In the digital country that Facebook is building, with currency, a population of 2.38 billion, and a corporate oligarchy, a new Oversight Board will act as a sort of Supreme Court. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on September 17 that Facebook had released its charter and plan for the Independent Oversight Board. Zuckerberg wrote that the board will “protect free expression for our community.”
Tech companies censor users when they break the terms of service. But what happens to tech companies when they break the law? According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Twitter’s new advertising campaign in the city breaks San Francisco’s laws.
Fact-checkers have been given an enormous amount of authority over what news stays and what cannot be allowed to flourish on Facebook. Pro-life organization Live Action found this out the hard way last week, after the platform was fact-checked by abortionists and Facebook threatened to limit the page’s outreach. Although Facebook stepped back from that decision after Senators Josh Hawley (R-MI) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) sent a letter to the company, the fact-checkers have not backed down.
Fox News apparently does not meet the standards for Facebook’s idea of journalism. Facebook’s newest feature, the News Tab, hasn’t even debuted and already it shows signs of biased against conservatives.
Big Tech companies like Facebook and YouTube would like users to believe Wikipedia is the ultimate objective source of information. But a recent hack proves that contention false. On conservative organization PragerU’s Wikipedia page, the logo was changed to a more vulgar claim.
Another investigation into big tech’s business practices has been launched, this time from the states. 50 attorneys general and 48 states announced a probe into Google on September 9 for practices that “may have led to anticompetitive behavior that harms consumers.”
Microsoft President Brad Smith is one of Big Tech’s biggest advocates for censorship online. Wouldn’t it be great if he brought that can-do attitude to the government? In an interview with Time Magazine, Smith told Romesh Ratnesar that he was not going to “rule out” a career in the government.
Another academic study about disinformation and election security has been released, this time from New York University. True to form, the research blames all facets of the right as sources of “domestic disinformation.” “Disinformation and the 2020 Election,” written by Paul M. Barrett of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, warned of the dangers of “disinformation” during the upcoming 2020 election.
Twitter has taken a side in favor of the killing of the unborn. David Daleiden, the undercover journalist for the Center for Medical Progress, reported that the organization had 19 tweets blocked on Twitter, at the advice of Planned Parenthood. Daleiden and Sandra Merritt face 15 felony charges for an invasion of privacy after releasing 14 videos showing the sale of aborted baby parts within Planned Parenthood in 2015.
Another member of the intellectual dark web has jumped into the world of tech development to circumvent censorship. Dave Rubin, host of the popular podcast and YouTube show The Rubin Report, announced on September 3 that he was launching a beta for his new tech company. In addition, it was also announced Tuesday that his show would be joining The Blaze TV.
Democrat presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s campaign would like to stop all fake news … except for the disinformation that Beto himself brings to the table. The campaign got angry after a rumor was spread on the internet that the Odessa shooter supported O’Rourke Campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon (a 2012 deputy campaign manager for President Barack Obama) tweeted that the campaign was “entirely helpless to stop misinformation.”
Censorship is in direct opposition to the ideal of free speech and the First Amendment. However, it seems to be a priority for those who espouse a liberal ideology, as shown by a new study from Marietta College. The research found that liberals were more likely to censor a statement if it disagreed with their values than moderates and conservatives. Liberals were more interested in censoring statements that criticized women, African Americans, and Islam than conservatives and moderates.
Facebook chose a side in the abortion debate and is actively working to suppress pro-life content. Live Action, a pro-life nonprofit organization run by activist Lila Rose, was notified August 30 that two of the company’s videos were marked as “false” by fact-checkers.
Big Tech is being summoned by the Federal Election Commission to answer what it is doing to stop digital misinformation before the 2020 elections. FEC Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub sent out personal invitations to the heads of Facebook, Google, and Twitter on August 30.
A small change made to the company’s slogan could open the door for Facebook to make even more money from the social media network. Previously, according to USA Today, the slogan on the front page of Facebook was “It’s free and it always will be.”
Facebook is having a hard time with transparency, even after paying for researchers to look at its data … with transparency. Philanthropies that agreed to fund studies about Facebook are even threatening to quit. Facebook had promised to make certain sets of data available to researchers working for the organizations, which included the Koch Foundation and Omidyar Network.