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
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.
A study from Cornell University claims YouTube channels that feature prominent conservative figures are “infecting” users with alt-right beliefs. “Auditing Radicalization Pathways on YouTube,” written by five academics, concluded that “channels in the Intellectual Dark Web (IDW) and the Alt-lite would be gateways to fringe far right ideology.” The study, released August 22, linked The Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro, Dr. Jordan Peterson, comedian and host Joe Rogan, and host Dave Rubin to fringe racist figures like Richard Spencer and Jared Taylor.
Google has tried to appease the social justice movement within its company, to the point that it has been accused of reverse discrimination. But apparently that’s not enough, according to one of its engineers. Bria Sullivan, an app developer for Google, interviewed with Moguldom, a media outlet that “programs content for an economic revolution in Black America,” on the August 21 GHOGH podcast. She and the podcast host, Jamarlin Martin, complained that Silicon Valley had a “Clarence Thomas” problem.
Big Tech is preparing for a reckoning with justice in a court of law. PragerU, a conservative media outlet known for its academic videos that explain traditional values and beliefs, will argue its appeal in a federal court on August 27. After a court dismissed the case on March 28, 2018, the company filed an appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court against Google and its sister company, YouTube. PragerU accused Google of “targeting ideological differences and engaging in unlawful censorship and discrimination.”
The Facebook conservative audit conducted by former Republican senator Jon Kyl did very little to address concerns of censorship. The social media company only changed half a policy in response to the audit. Now Kyl is defending his work against criticism from the right.
The New York Times wants readers to believe that to be right wing is to be evil. In a scathing hit piece written about the conservative outlet Western Journal, Nicholas Confessore and Justin Bank smeared the website as a “potent online disinformation mill.” While the executive editor, Shaun Hair, admits openly that the content on the site is written from a conservative point of view, the Times sins it as “sensationalized, misleading, or entirely made-up.”
Allegedly, Google did everything it could within its power to help Hillary Clinton win in 2016. It didn’t work. So did it happen?Dr. Robert Epstein testified at a Senate hearing in July that Google had helped influence 2.6 million votes in favor of Hillary Clinton in 2016. On August 19, Hillary Clinton slammed his study, claiming it had been “debunked.” Epstein, a Clinton supporter, responded with his first ever “twitter storm,” in essence factually disarming Clinton’s comment. He tweeted, “Hillary Clinton told blatant lies about me today.”
Facebook released its official report about accusations of bias from conservatives — only it bears no resemblance to the similar audit it did for the left. The company didn’t actually admit conservative concerns about censorship were valid in the new report.
Twitter is an American company, but the social media platform has been taking money from the People’s Republic of China to run ads against the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests. Pinboard, the social bookmarking website run by developer Maciej Cegłowski, captured ads on Twitter from China Xinhua News which called for “a brake to be put on the blatant violence” in Hong Kong.
Google employees aren’t happy with the idea of working with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement or the Customs and Border Protection. A petition written by Googlers called for Google to avoid working with ICE and the CBP, as well as the Office of Refugee Resettlement was published August 14.
In the extensive document drop from former Google engineer Zach Vorhies, a section dedicated to hiring diversity, called “TGIF: Diversity at Google,” revealed a troubling aspect about Google. Discussions among executives and employees alike revealed that Google was willing to work extra hard in order to achieve its idea of perfect diversity in its workforce.
Google used a blacklist and a blocklist for search results. And those two lists reportedly blocked a large amount of conservative content from the app — including NewsBusters. A Google whistleblower, Zachary Vorhies, shared several documents with James O’Keefe and Project Veritas that were released August 14.
A viral video showing CNN Anchor Chris Cuomo threatening to throw a Trump supporter down the stairs has been removed from YouTube by the platform. The YouTube channel “That’s the POINT with Brandon” posted a video showing Cuomo threatening a Trump supporter.
A draft of an executive order to be released by the White House found that at least 15,000 people had been affected by political censorship online. CNN reported that a summary of the draft stated that the White House “has received more than 15,000 anecdotal complaints of social media platforms censoring American political discourse.”
The media want to make a scapegoat out of platforms that have untethered free speech. Even when they clearly aren’t at fault. In a report about a shooter who attacked a mosque in Oslo, Norway on August 10, The New York Times reported that the killer posted to 8chan, a chat platform which was blamed for the El Paso massacre.