President Trump warned social media giants last week that they will be held accountable if they are censoring conservatives in favor of their own liberal bias.
Speaking before reporters Trump said that the social platforms are “treading on very, very troubled territory and they have to be careful.” He added, “Google has really taken advantage of a lot of people and I think that’s a very serious thing and it’s a very serious charge. They better be careful because they can’t do that to people.”
As should be expected, CNN was quick to denounce Trump’s assertions about Google. Oliver Darcy of CNN wrote: “President Donald Trump on Friday morning claimed in a tweet that social media companies are ‘silencing millions of people,’ exacerbating a longstanding paranoia from conservatives who have for years erroneously accused social media companies of bias and censorship.”
If President Trump is paranoid then so are the vast majority of conservatives. A Media Research Center/McLaughlin & Associates poll shows that 65% of “self-described conservatives” say that social media companies like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are deliberately censoring conservatives and conservative ideas from their sites.
66% said they do not trust Facebook to treat all of its users equally regardless of their political beliefs. 67% said they trust Facebook less than they did one year ago.
A day before Trump tweeted about Google bias, Fox Business TV ran a report that said Google favored liberal news outlets in its search results about Trump.
Congress has taken notice that conservative voices are being silenced on social media. The House Energy and Commerce Committee announced that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and other tech executives will appear before the panel on Capitol Hill on September 5. Dorsey will answer questions about his company’s “algorithms and content judgment calls.”
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Rep-CA) who has frequently complained about “one-sided” content on social media. McCarthy said, “One-sided conversations are an affront to the public mission that serves as the foundation for these social media platforms – including Twitter. That is why I worked with Chairman Greg Walden and requested Jack Dorsey to testify to Congress and talk with the American people about filtering practices on Twitter.”
Dorsey concedes that Twitter, located in San Francisco, is staffed by those who are primarily “left-leaning,” but he denied the idea that his platform bans conservative voices.
There has been a growing complaint from conservative sites that their posts and tweets mysteriously disappear from Twitter, Facebook, and Google search results. Most recently, Salena Zito of the New York Post reported her column – which contained “no expletives, conspiracy theories, hate speech or sexual language” – had been removed by Twitter and Facebook without explanation.
While Twitter and Facebook have been willing to appear before Congress, Google’s Sundar Pichai faces bipartisan criticism for refusing to testify at an upcoming Senate Intelligence Committee hearing. Intelligence Committee members of both parties are criticizing Pichai’s plans to be a no-show next week. Virginia Senator Mark Warner, the Intelligence panel’s leading Democrat, said Google is making a “great mistake” by refusing to send its top decision maker.
Trump doubled down on Google after Pichai announced he would not appear before Congress. He said that Google’s search engine offers “rigged” news story results so that mostly “bad” stories about him and other conservatives appear.
Trump added this thought on Twitter, “Trump News’ shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out.”
Larry Kudlow, Trump’s economic advisor, told Bloomberg that the White House is “looking into” claims that Google suppresses positive articles about the president. He did not provide details on the steps the White House would take to look into the matter.
Google defended their algorithms in a prepared statement:
Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology. Every year, we issue hundreds of improvements to our algorithms to ensure they surface high-quality content in response to users’ queries. We continually work to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment.
Regardless of the Big Tech giants denials, Trump’s stance on social media bias as a whole represents the broader view among conservative circles.
~ Freedom News Report