U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr as signaled support for taking legal action against Big Tech companies that routinely silence conservative users and content creators.
Conservatives have been coping with social media censorship since Donald Trump announced his intention to run for president in 2015. Even as early as 2014, people were complaining of being “shadowbanned” on platforms like Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and others.
Shadowbanning is a process where the target appears to be able to post material as usual but only they are able to see it. Shadowbanning can be done in a way where only a poster’s core followers and friends can still see posted material, but posts are kept from the screens of potential new visitors. The worst cases of shadowbanning make it appear that the poster has simply ceased to share content and information to their followers.
In those most extreme cases, the victim usually discovers the fact that they are being censored within a few days or weeks. But much more subtle forms are also used. In the majority of cases, users are simply banned from platforms altogether or have the work demonetized. When this happens, the victims are invariably told they violated a rule against violent or offensive material when the material contains only political opinion and news commentary.
Project Veritas recently reported on the claims of Facebook whistleblowers who have brought forth video and audio evidence of Facebook employees openly bragging about deleting conservative content. These Facebook moderators freely admit to deleting conservative material, calling it hateful and violent. They even use the term “shadowbanning,” which social media executives have long told us is imagined by “right-wing conspiracy theorists.”
While this is going on, the Anti-Trump Left continues to freely post images of the President being brutally murdered, or statements from BLM activists making proclamations about Jews that one would expect to hear at a KKK rally or in the writings of Adolph Hitler.
In all of this, President Trump has been slow to respond. He has offered moral support to those who are being banned, but little else has been done to stop the rigging of our culture by the demagogues of the Left.
Now, Attorney General William Barr has stated that “social media ‘starting to censor’ conservative views is ‘problematic.’”
While we are glad to see official recognition of the problem from the nation’s top law enforcement official, we have at least two complaints. First, social media “started to censor” our views years ago. Second, using a term like “problematic” seems to suggest Barr’s comment may never be more than just a comment.
Barr went on to say, “You can take down stuff that is unlawful and you can take down stuff that does not accord with your terms of service. But you have to make your terms of service clear. You have to have a reasonably-based reason for taking material down.”
Barr also commented on the selective manner in which they silence material, saying, “[…] they are being more selective, and they are starting to censor different viewpoints. Antitrust laws are one way to challenge companies that engage in “monopolistic practices.”
In the meantime, many conservative content creators have turned to alternative platforms to promote their message.