And for nearly as long, the head of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube/Google and others denied that any such censorship was taking place, or that there was a concerted, coordinated effort to keep conservative voices off their platforms.
In recent days, conservative media — ironically — have reported that yes, the tech platforms do indeed censor content they have determined to be “controversial” but which also happen to suppress Right-leaning viewpoints on issues like abortion.
Now we learn from a tech CEO himself that such censorship efforts are, in fact, well-coordinated between platforms.
As reported by Breitbart News, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told the Left-wing HuffPost in no uncertain terms that the social media behemoths “definitely collaborate” on various “methods” of censorship of certain content and, presumably, certain publishers.
During the interview, which was conducted by former Gawker correspondent Ashley Feinberg — who initially complained about Dorsey unfollowing her on Twitter — the CEO denied intentional censorship of conservatives and their content.
“I think it would be easy to believe a perspective if you only look at particular things. And you look at actions based on who you follow and whatnot,” he said after Feinberg asked him why conservatives believe they are being censored.
“I mean, people follow people that violate our terms of service and who we take action upon, and if you’re only following those people and you’re not following anyone else, you tend to see that and the perspective is strengthened,” the Twitter CEO declared.
“As I said in front of Congress, we do make some mistakes where our algorithms can be super aggressive. But do we build bias into our systems? No, it’s not in our policies, it’s not in our enforcement, and it’s not in our algorithms… So the main thing that we’re focused on is how we stay transparent with our actions and continue to be impartial — not neutral, but impartial.” (Related: Arrest Google CEO Sundar Pichai for lying under oath to Congress: Yes, Google manually alters search results.)
Dorsey said he “reached out to a bunch of people” including conservative pundit Ali Alexander before he banned Infowars creator Alex Jones, noting that Alexander advised against it.
He then denied that the social media giants work in tandem to suspend or otherwise downgrade conservative voices — then added that they “definitely collaborate” on “methods” with the other platforms.
“I think the conspiracy theory was that all companies were working in concert together to deplatform… in terms of all platforms working together. We definitely collaborate on methods, but particular actions, we don’t,” he admitted, without really explaining the difference.
“What I said is that there was an active conspiracy theory around all these companies working together. We want to state that we have a Terms of Service and that we are going to follow it. Then when we find that we need to take action, we’ll take action. But there’s no decision other than making sure that we stay true to our enforcement policies,” he added.
Conservatives argue that studies, examples, and anecdotal evidence suggest otherwise — that the platforms not only collaborate but target them.
In fact, the banning and censorship is so blatant that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) announced over the summer he was bringing a formal complaint to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) because, he said, Twitter editors were censoring or downgrading his feed, which amounts to a curb on his ability to reach his constituents.
Based on an investigation by far-Left Vice, Twitter was most definitely shadow banning several GOP lawmakers: Reps. Gaetz, Devin Nunes, Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan, and John Ratcliffe by blocking their names in the search bar.
Read more about social media censorship of conservatives at Censorship.news.