An actor and comedian famous for his shenanigans as the character Borat blasted the Big Tech community for being “the greatest propaganda machine in history” and knocking Facebook for its recent free speech stance. Sacha Baron Cohen gave a speech at the Anti-Defamation League's 2019 Never Is Now Summit on Anti-Semitism and Hate last Thursday, claiming that “hate and violence is being facilitated by a handful of internet companies that amount to the greatest propaganda machine in history."
Parody accounts on Twitter are supposed to be protected under the platform’s terms of service. But the company seems to forget this fact on a regular basis. A parody account of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, @ElBloombito, was briefly suspended on Nov. 22.
Countering the liberal media call to censor conservatives, the former president came out swinging against Chinese-style censorship on Big Tech platforms and took a stand for free speech online. “At a high-dollar fundraiser on Thursday” former President Barack Obama attempted to bridge the gap and ease the tensions between rising Democratic Party leaders and Big Tech companies, particularly amidst recent controversies over “misinformation,” censorship and free speech, Vox Recode reported.
Facebook has become more open to some policies that the right has fought for. “President Donald Trump hosted a previously undisclosed dinner with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook board member Peter Thiel at the White House in October,” Facebook reportedly told NBC News yesterday. A Facebook spokesman told NBC News,“As is normal for a CEO of a major U.S. company, Mark accepted an invitation to have dinner with the President and First Lady at the White House.”
Liberals complain about Big Tech platforms that allow for free and unfettered speech in political advertising. It seems as though some of these companies are listening. Google announced on Nov. 20 that it was restricting microtargeting on election ads on the platform.
A Twitter account that had been previously retweeted by President Trump was censored by the platform. Breaking News Live News had tweeted a story about Hunter Biden, former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, on Nov. 20.
Facebook has taken heat for supporting free speech and for including Breitbart in its “News” tab, and now its VP of global marketing solutions is making a stand. Yesterday, Gizmodo wrote its not-so-objective commentary that “Facebook recently announced that white supremacist propaganda site Breitbart would be considered a ‘high quality’ news source on its platform, leading to complaints that Facebook was legitimizing hate.”
In what could be perceived as a subtle barb at Facebook, and perhaps even Twitter too, Snapchat declared its commitment to battling “misinformation” with the upcoming election in mind. “We subject all advertising to review, including political advertising,” the Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said on Monday, according to CNBC. He continued, adding, “I think what we try to do is create a place for political ads on our platform, especially because we reach so many young people and first-time voters we want them to be able to engage with the political conversation, but we don’t allow things like misinformation to appear in that advertising.”
In this era of civility, Google’s search algorithms are doing their part in keeping the peace. Google Images, the section of Google Search where users can look for images, suggests images with any phrase or word typed in the box. With the query, “punchable face,” several images crop up immediately.
Millions of Americans’ medical data was reportedly shared with Google, and even liberals are calling foul. Democratic leaders, including House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) have all condemned a business arrangement between Google and Ascension, the leaders “asking for more information about how patient health data is being used and shared” as reported by CNBC.
It’s all just a conspiracy! News Editor trashes The Wall Street Journal for its exposure of Google’s biased practices. Search Engine Land's News Editor Barry Schwartz wrote an article “Misquoted and misunderstood: Why we, the search community, don’t believe the WSJ about Google search” in an attempt to dismiss The Wall Street Journal’s damning exposé.
Twitter appears to be doing all it can to protect those participating in the impeachment inquiry from public criticism. Liberal news outlet BuzzFeed noted that the phrase “I hired Donald Trump to fire people like Yovanovitch” was trending on the morning of Nov. 15.