On Tuesday’s Hardball, an MSNBC panel addressed the growing concerns about social media platforms censoring conservatives, after President Trump accused Google on Twitter and yesterday in a pool press spray, of filtering results against him and of Facebook and Twitter censoring conservatives.
Steve Kornacki, who was filling in for Chris Matthews as host, asked his panel -- consisting of New York Times political correspondent Nick Confessore, New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay and GOP strategist Evan Siegfried -- to respond to Trump’s tweets. Confessore immediately dismissed the notion of conservatives being unfairly treated on social media or by Google, while making some swipes at the President.
“This is a President who doesn’t use computers, emails. He’s not a tech expert,” Confessore snarked. “Conservatives believe these platforms are against them and stacking the deck. There’s no evidence for it on a systemic basis, but they believe it and they’re pushing their case,” he argued.
He added that there was political motivation behind the argument. “The President knows that Google is full of people who supported Hillary Clinton,” he noted. “He’s aware of it and he hates it.”
Turning to Siegfried, Kornacki asked what “audience” Trump was appealing to with this sentiment. The GOP strategist dismissed the President’s concerns about Google search results but went on to argue that there was plenty of evidence of social media platforms treating conservative accounts differently than they did liberal accounts. He also mentioned the Media Research Center’s President Brent Bozell and former President of The Heritage Foundation, Jim DeMint, meeting with Facebook in 2016 to combat this problem:
[B]ut there is a perception within the conservative community that there's a bias against conservatives throughout Silicon Valley.
Let's take Twitter, for example, Twitter was responding to death threats of liberals and liberal friends of mine, and immediately responding to them, suspending these accounts. But when it came to me and other conservatives who were opposed to Trump in 2016 getting death threats saying ‘we're going to come and find you, put you in the oven, put you in a concentration camp,’ et cetera, you file the report with Twitter and they said ‘there's no violation of terms and service. Oh, so sorry.’ And Dana Loesch, the spokeswoman for the NRA. I disagree with Dana on several issues, especially on guns but she went out and had somebody tweet at her, ‘I think your kid should get murdered.’ Twitter, ‘no, violation of their terms of service.’
Then this my case and Dana's case, we both went to the press. I wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post in 2016 saying here are all the things that Twitter has done or not done in response to threats and with Dana Loesch, the Daily Caller wrote a piece saying this. Instantly, Twitter turned around and said ‘Oh, my God, we re-reviewed the cases.’ It's bad PR that motivates them. I think, Jack Dorsey, I would like to take the moment to invite him to sit down and talk about bridging the gap between conservatives and Twitter because there is this gap. He can go a long way and hopefully we can fix this. While they may not have an actual bias, they are certainly feeding the perception that they are against us. It's the same with Facebook, who met with prominent conservatives in May 2016. They met with Brent Bozell and Jim DeMint and said we're going to work better but they haven't made us feel like we’re equal.