For nearly a year leading up to the 2018 midterms, Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube, and other major platforms began censoring pro-Trump content from various well-trafficked conservative news sites like this one, as evidenced by substantial drops in social media referral traffic that, in many cases, served as the economic lifeline for such sites.
Before long it was discovered that the drop in traffic wasn’t due to some innocent reprogramming of search algorithms, as the tech companies claimed, but rather a concerted, sustained effort on their part to hide, “shadow ban,” and outright remove content favorable to the president and Republicans in general.
This is a huge problem, given the pervasiveness of social media in our culture, and it’s only going to get worse as we head into the 2020 election and beyond, says Breitbart News’ editor-in-chief Alex Barlow.
During an appearance on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Wednesday, Barlow noted that the tech giants are actively trying to “censor the outlets that might give voices to the voiceless”— which is completely 180 degrees opposite of the original purpose behind social media to begin with.
Carlson began the interview by asking Barlow what it meant “in practical terms” that editors and writers for Wikipedia can no longer cite Breitbart News as a source — only “establishment” media, which, in the Trump era, have been nothing short of traffickers in fake news.
“I think in practical terms, what it means is that people who access Wikipedia as a source are only going to get establishment media outlets to source their claims. We know those claims, they treat full-on-hoaxes as fact,” Barlow said.
Carlson went on to to say that the establishment media outlets, by daily pushing the Russian collusion hoax until special counsel Robert Mueller finally admitted it was bogus, evaded “all responsibility” for perpetuating the false narrative, even though it “really wrecked our foreign policy among other things,” while also working to suppress legitimate news outlets like this one and Breitbart.
“How Orwellian is that?” Carlson asked rhetorically.
You nailed it here. They are not only suppressing us — and they target you, they target us, they will target just about all of us right of center and who serve a right-of-center audience, not because we are getting things wrong. They’re targeting us because we are getting things right. We got these key stories right, and we will probably get the next key stories right.
Before the 2018 elections, experts voiced concern that big tech censorship could have an effect on the outcome of races — that is, that suppression of one point of view, the conservative side, would disadvantage Republicans while helping Democrats. (Related: If Hitler ran Twitter, he would run it exactly the same way as Jack Dorsey, with secret de-platforming orders, covert shadow banning and zero transparency.)
A post-election study seems to confirm those concerns, The National Sentinel reported in March. The study, by Dr. Robert Epstein, a San Diego-based Harvard Ph.D. who founded the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, “found that [clear Democrat] search biases introduced by Google into its algorithms last year likely cost at least three Republicans their congressional seats.”
That kind of manipulation, Barlow noted, started off slowly but then has built over time.
“It started with Google kind of toying with the searches,” he said, then moved on to “Twitter with shadow-banning.” In short order, “Facebook had to change their algorithm because places like Breitbart were dominating.
“And it goes on,” he added. “They are trying to win the 2020 election by shutting down and censoring the outlets that might give voices to the voiceless — the people disenfranchised.”