Technology platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube claim to be politically and ideologically neutral platforms for ideas. But there are many who suggest that they are anything but that.
It is not our intention to take sides here and we have no ties with either the Democrats or Republicans. We are keen observers of the latest trends in the world of technology and say it like it is. Read on for our take on this burning issue.
Unless you’d been living under a rock, you’d have heard about this fabulous exchange between Republican Senator Ted Cruz and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the latter’s testimony before the Congress.
Sen. Cruz is known to be a brilliant trial lawyer and he clinically tore at Mark Zuckerberg at the Congressional hearing, voicing a concern many Republicans have about Facebook suppressing any pro-Conservative speech.
Senator Cruz started off by asking Zuckerberg, “Does Facebook consider itself a neutral public forum?”
Zuckerberg said in response: “Senator, we consider ourselves to be a platform for ideas.”
Cruz retorted, “Are you a First Amendment speaker expressing your views or are you a neutral public forum allowing everyone to speak?”
He added, “There are a great many Americans who I would say are deeply concerned that Facebook and other tech companies are engaged in a pervasive pattern of bias and political censorship.”
Zuckerberg was forced to admit that Facebook was “an extremely left-leaning place,” but said that he was determined to encourage diversity of viewpoints at his organization.
Many conservative media outlets have been complaining for a long time now that major technology companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube (which is a part of Google), were attempting to censor the conservative worldview and suppress online content that was in the favor of President Donald Trump.
In a detailed report titled CENSORED! How Online Media Companies Are Suppressing Conservative Speech, authords Ashley Rae Goldenberg and Dan Gainor have provided numerous examples of how Twitter, Facebook and Google suppress conservative online content.
According to the authors, the biggest culprit is Twitter, which “regularly suppresses conservative points-of-view” and engages in biased censorship. Twitter is by no means as popular as Facebook, it has only 300 million members compared to Facebook’s 2.1 billion.
Twitter, unlike Facebook is a very political medium which is watched closely by journalists, politicians, celebrities and opinion makers. It was because of Twitter that Donald Trump was able to go over the hostile media and reach out to his supporters. Twitter certainly was one of the biggest reasons behind Trump winning the Presidential race.
But the people who run Twitter, such as CEO Jack Dorsey, are very much left wing in their outlook. Twitter staffers have openly admitted on camera about “shadow banning” Conservatives. They have been known to restrict Conservative ads and hashtags and promote left-wing ads and hashtags.
Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube talk about using moderators to suppress hate speech. But a question has been raised as to who moderates the moderators. One organization that is used to identify hate speech, for example, is a left-wing group called Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which has a clear agenda against conservative online content creators.
Our View: Technology platforms should be politically neutral and should not get caught up in all the political nonsense. After all, if you can’t trust Facebook, Twitter or Google, who can you trust? This creates bad vibes and turns off a major section of the population from using the social media, which we are sure none of these platforms want.