Diary

Big Tech Puts Its Big Thumb on the Scale of Upcoming Election

This photo combo of images shows, clockwise, from upper left: a Google sign, and apps for Twitter, Spotify and Facebook. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify and other sites are finding themselves in a role they never wanted, as gatekeepers of discourse on their platforms, deciding what should and shouldn't be allowed and often angering almost everyone in the process. (AP Photo)

On October 14, the New York Post ran a bombshell story under the headline, “Biden Secret Emails.” The story, which was vetted and verified by the top brass at the New York Post, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious newspapers, immediately caused quite a stir, as it surely should have.

Yet, this is only part of the story. Of much greater importance, arguably, was the censorship that the social media giants applied to this story, which they banned from their so-called platforms.

In other words, the oligarchs who run Facebook and Twitter apparently didn’t consider the story newsworthy, so they erased it from existence. Not only that, Twitter temporarily shut-down the accounts of the New York Post and the White House Press Secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, who were deemed guilty of spreading misinformation.

According to McEnany, “It’s not a temporary blockage. When I log on to my Twitter account, it says I’m permanently banned. They essentially have me at gunpoint and said unless you delete a news story by the New York Post, I cannot regain access to my account.”

McEnany also said, “This is censorship. This is not the American way. This is not how a freedom-loving democracy operates. We have to hold Twitter accountable, and Facebook too, who is banning the transmission of this story simply because ideologically it hurts the side of the aisle that Silicon Valley prefers. It’s sad, it’s censorship, [and] this is not America.”

McEnany is right on all counts. What Twitter and Facebook did by suppressing this significant news story should send a huge wake-up call to the American people.

Fortunately, the vast majority of the American people are already suspicious of the tech titans’ political bias. According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, 73 percent of American adults believe “social media sites intentionally censor political viewpoints that they find objectionable.” Among self-identified Republicans, 90 percent believe so.

However, the despicable actions by Twitter and Facebook concerning the New York Post article have taken this to a whole new level. With less than three weeks before one of the most important elections in recent history, these tech giants are literally suppressing information that the American public has a right to know before they cast their votes on Election Day.

Even more concerning is the blatant double-standard that these tech companies employ when it comes to banning content they deem to be not appropriate. For years, all of the social media giants have allowed users to post and share stories that have not been verified when it comes to Republicans in general, and the Trump administration in particular.

Just this week, Twitter allowed a completely bogus story about Eric Trump (#EricTrumpUkraineScandal) to trend as one of its top stories while it literally erased anything having to do with the New York Post’s Hunter Biden email story.

This total hypocrisy on behalf of the tech titans is a broadside against freedom of speech and freedom of expression. Moreover, this type of censorship is anathema to a well-functioning constitutional republic.

Censorship of this magnitude is part and parcel to totalitarian regimes. It has absolutely no place in the United States.

Just in case you think this is not all that important. Perhaps this warning by McEnany will make us all think twice about the size and scope of this problem, should it continue to manifest. “Make no mistake, if they can ban the press secretary of the United States for President Trump, they can ban you, as a citizen, and that is pathetic.”

Once again, McEnany is spot-on. However, I would substitute the word “ominous” in place of pathetic.

Chris Talgo ([email protected]) is an editor at The Heartland Institute.