It should come as no surprise that a “voting company” that partnered with social media companies in 2018 failed to help voters register as advertised. Facebook and Twitter touted TurboVote as a voting reminder and an aid in registering to vote.
Twitter claims to be against “hate speech” and for “healthy conversation.” But the amount of anti-Semitic material allowed on its platform tells a different story.
The case against social media platforms and their consistent censorship of conservative content is growing rapidly. In a new op-ed by Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son slammed Facebook, Instagram, and Google for their latest mistakes in removing and downranking posts made by the right.
Social media outlets raced to remove content in the wake of the New Zealand mosque shooting. In the aftermath, media members criticized the tech companies for their inability to restrict the shooter’s footage and manifesto of the New Zealand Mosque shooting. Political commentators and journalists condemned tech companies as somehow being complicit with the rise of terrorism. WIRED magazine observed that there is a growing sense that “both YouTube and Facebook have grown too big to moderate.”
Big Tech just ran into a big buzzsaw. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) scorched a Google executive during a Committee hearing on consumer privacy, complaining about “creepy” revelations of misbehavior. Hawley sparred with Google’s senior privacy counsel Will DeVries over user privacy concerns. Hawley condemned the company, asking if they imagine a user would be surprised if he found that Google was “tracking his location” even when location services are deactivated.
Twitter is getting ready to make major changes that are already being criticized as new ways to limit speech and benefit what the company CEO calls “healthy conversation.” Twitter unveiled new changes at the SXSW (South by SouthWest) tech conference being experimented within their Twttr app to be implemented into the main Twitter platform. The company hasmet swift criticism from conservatives like Lila Rose who blasted them for making the platform “more hostile to diversity of ideas.”
While YouTube may publicly deny demoting videos based on their "specific political perspectives,” both right and left wing commentators have noticed a huge drop in recommendations. In February there has been a massive drop in YouTube recommending content for a select group of creators — from 7.8% recommendation rate to a miniscule 0.4%. That’s a whopping 94.87% drop.
CNN is expanding it’s partnership with Twitter to better cater to advertisers on the platform. Where previously companies could only buy ad space according to content category, now they can purchase ad space around the most popular CNN videos shared on the platform.
The blog site news blog Zero Hedge complained that Facebook has banned users from sharing its posts. Zero Hedge pseudonym "Tyler Durden" (named for the rebellious anti-hero from Fight Club.) has claimed via his blog that “some readers were prevented by Facebook when attempting to share Zero Hedge articles.” According to "Durden," “every attempt to share or merely mention an article, including in private messages, would be actively blocked,” with the explanation that the link “goes against our community standards."
Democrats have warned they are coming after big tech. Now presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, says she wants to break up the major tech firms. Warren has joined a chorus of political leaders on both sides of politics voicing their concerns about the impact of Big Tech on America’s well being. She published an opinion piece on Medium on March 8 proclaiming that big tech companies have “too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy.” She later added “we need to stop this generation of big tech companies from throwing around their political power to shape the rules in their favor.”
YouTube is launching new initiative to combat what it calls fake news and “misinformation.” A YouTube spokesperson told Buzzfeed that “As part of our ongoing efforts to build a better news experience on YouTube, we are expanding our information panels to bring fact checks from eligible publishers to YouTube.” While this was originally launched to combat serious and malicious misinformation in places like India, there is concern that it will be weaponized in the future.
Facebook has been the public image of social media with 2.5 billion users. Now Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he wants the company to focus on making things private. While tech commentators have debated his motivations, Zuckerberg vowed a new commitment to private information in a March 6 memo. He proclaimed, “People expect their private communications to be secure and to only be seen by the people they've sent them to -- not hackers, criminals, over-reaching governments, or even the people operating the services they're using.”