FLASHBACK: CJR Claimed Big Tech ‘Anti-Conservative Bias’ Was ‘Myth’ that ‘Refuses to Die’ in 2019

January 6th, 2023 12:44 AM

The liberal Columbia Journalism Review may now want to consider retracting its 2019 screed dismissing Big Tech bias against conservatives as a “myth” that “refuses to die.”

CJR’s August 2019 propaganda was plastered with a blaring headline: “The myth of social media anti-conservative bias refuses to die.” CJR Chief Digital Writer Mathew Ingram decried how “DESPITE AN ALMOST TOTAL LACK of evidence to support the theory, alt-right groups and mainstream conservatives alike—including the ones that currently occupy the [Trump] White House—continue to promote the idea that Facebook, Twitter and Google are somehow biased against them.”

Oops! That statement aged like a carton of old milk left out in the sun for days. 

Too bad for Ingram that MRC Free Speech America and its unique CensorTrack database have the receipts.

A lot has happened in the over three years since Ingram’s pro-Big Tech lecture to the plebeians that ended up completely wrecking his gaslighting. 

First, the recent string of Twitter Files starting in December 2022 confirmed the platform was deliberately censoring conservative content, with many of the cases involving pressure and priming from government agencies. The FBI in particular “primed” Twitter to censor the Hunter Biden laptop scandal reported by the New York Post and anyone who dared share the story.  

A 2020 MRC poll found that 45 percent of President Joe Biden’s voters weren’t fully aware of the Post story precisely because Big Media and Big Tech platforms like Twitter and Facebook whitewashed it. Even Twitter owner Elon Musk said the assertion that Twitter’s censorship operations were overwhelmingly targeting conservatives was “correct” in November 2022. 

Journalist Matt Taibbi, who reported on the Twitter files, said that Twitter had established the “intellectual framework” for banning and censoring former President Donald Trump months before the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol Hill Riot. “Trump was being 'visibility filtered' as late as a week before the [2020] election," Taibbi said. How’s that for “evidence” of “bias” Ingram?

Second, the MRC launched the CensorTrack database in Sept. 2020 to meticulously document individual cases of censorship across Big Tech platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google. The database now has logged well over 4,800 cases of censorship, with the vast majority coming from leftist Twitter. One CensorTrack study, which analyzed how much Big Tech was protecting President Joe Biden from his critics, was cited in an ongoing lawsuit filed by the Missouri and Louisiana attorneys general against the Biden administration for colluding with Big Tech platforms to censor content. 

Third, MRC Free Speech America released groundbreaking research illustrating how Google’s search algorithm was skewed in order to help Democrats maintain control of the Senate in the 2022 midterm elections.

Specifically, the study caught Google burying the websites of 10 of 12 Senate Republican Party candidates in hotly contested races while highlighting their opponents campaign sites in organic search results. Worse is that seven of the 12 Senate Republican Party candidates’ campaign websites didn’t even appear on page one using Google’s organic search.

Meanwhile, eight of the 12 websites for Senate Democratic Party candidates were highlighted in the top six items in organic search results. Search engine optimization expert Brian Dean reported that less than 1 percent of “Google searchers clicked on something from the second page.” The Democrats would go on to win a slim Senate majority.

But Ingram was adamant that Big Tech’s “anti-conservative bias” was simply “a conspiracy theory that has cropped up since at least 2016.” It's time for Ingram to finally eat crow and for CJR to retract his article.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact Columbia Journalism Review at 212-854-1881 and demand they retract Ingram’s 2019 propaganda dismissing Big Tech bias against conservatives.