Big Tech’s recent attempts to ramp up pre-election censorship are not restrictive enough for the leftist New York Times.
A Stern Center for Business and Human Rights at New York University report complained that social media platforms do not censor enough alleged election “misinformation” as the 2022 midterms approach.
“If even a handful of Republican deniers are elected this year to state offices that oversee presidential elections — such as governor and secretary of state — the 2024 process could descend into chaos and violence,” the Stern report said, in an openly partisan claim. The report pictured Fox News and former Trump strategist Steve Bannon on its report cover.
Despite the Stern report’s efforts to tarnish Republicans as the sole election meddlers, election interference often takes the form of leftist online censorship. “The malady of election denialism in the U.S. has become one of the most dangerous byproducts of social media,” The Times quoted the Stern report.
The Times wrote, “The companies, the [Stern] report argued, bear a responsibility for the false but widespread belief among conservatives that the 2020 election was fraudulent — and that the coming midterms could be, too.” A whistleblower complaint from former Twitter head of security Peiter Zatko showed only two “misinformation” experts on Twitter’s “site integrity team,” The Times wrote. Oh, the horror.
Yet in 2019, The Times gave Democrat Stacey Abrams a flattering interview, allowing and encouraging her to push claims that her loss of the Georgia governor’s race was partly due to election fraud and voter suppression. Times have changed, apparently.
Tech platforms need to “enhance fact-checking efforts” and remove more “untrue claims,” said the Stern report and The Times. Content must be removed and not just labeled, The Times emphasized.
The Times then quoted a Twitter spokeswoman who reportedly boasted to the outlet about Twitter’s efforts to “pre-bunk” allegedly “false information.” Twitter recently partnered with the United Nations’ UNESCO, the European Commission and the World Jewish Congress in the “#ThinkBeforeSharing” campaign to “pre-bunk” supposed “disinformation.” The campaign specifically defended leftist billionaire George Soros.
The New York Times write-up on the report, which endorsed censorship as a way to safeguard elections, did not mention that Big Tech’s censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop scandal helped steal the 2020 election for Joe Biden, as NewsBusters reported in November 2020. 4.6 percent of Biden voters said in November 2020 they would not have voted for him had they known about the scandal. Online censorship can be election interference.
This election season, TikTok, Google-owned YouTube, Twitter and Meta (parent company of WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram) have launched projects specifically designed to target alleged “election misinformation” prior to the 2022 midterms. Many of the platforms have maintained these election policies since the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election. TikTok’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) through its parent company ByteDance have raised concerns about foreign influence in U.S. elections.
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