Google, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter Ramp Up Censorship of Conservatives

By Rachel Alexander Published on March 20, 2018

The major tech and social media sites, run by mostly left-wing management, have been targeting conservatives in recent weeks. Although some of the sites attacked, like Infowars, aren’t mainstream sites on the right, all conservatives should be concerned

Facebook Changes Algorithm, Conservatives Go Down

In late January, Facebook changed its algorithms. This resulted in greatly decreased traffic for many Facebook pages on the right, as well as those websites which relied upon Facebook traffic. 

Facebook claimed the algorithm change emphasized posts from “friends, family and groups” and reduced those from “businesses, brands and media.” But an analysis from The Outline observed that right-leaning sites were the hardest hit. The site found “engagement totals for February dropping as much as 55 percent for some, while the engagement numbers of most predominantly liberal publishers remained unaffected.”

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President Trump’s engagement on Facebook posts dropped 45 percent. In contrast, potential left-wing presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) did not see drops. Fox News had a drop of 26 percent in its Facebook engagement, whereas CNN, The New York Times, and The Washington Post saw virtually no change. The only left-leaning sites that appear to be affected were clickbait sites.

Right Wing News, which has over a million fans on its page, saw such a decrease in traffic that owner John Hawkins said it was no longer profitable to keep running. He shut down the page and site (it’s still online but is not updated). IJ Review, another popular site on the right that got much of its traffic from Facebook, was forced into layoffs last week. Three other sites are depend heavily on Facebook. Young Cons, Western Journalism and Sarah Palin, saw huge decreases in website traffic in January. Some sites had to switch domain names to survive. Western Journalism renamed its domain Western Journal. Even the most popular sites on the right were affected, like Breitbart.

First They Came For …

“First they came for Infowars, and I did not speak out — because I found them offensive,” Michael Brown has written. “Then they came for Geller and Spencer, and I did not speak out — because I found them obnoxious. They came for Prager U, and I did not speak out — because I found them opinionated. Then they came for a host of others, and I did not speak out — because I have my own life to live. Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Gateway Pundit, a popular, controversial site on the right that posts breaking news, says Facebook has been flagging its articles and referring people to alternative sources like the Associated Press. An article featuring a letter written to Gateway Pundit by the father of a two Parkland students who are pro-Second Amendment was apparently flagged and blocked by Facebook. A message popped up directing people to an AP article, which Facebook described as “an independent fact-checking site.”

The Outline reported that Gateway Pundit’s Facebook engagement dropped 55 percent “from January to February despite the fact that the number of posts made had only decreased by approximately 20 percent.” The site described Gateway Pundit as “a fringe far-right site which often publishes stories that are plainly false with inflammatory headlines,”

Facebook banned Libertarian Missouri Senate candidate Austin Petersen for 30 days in the fall of 2017 for promoting an AR-15 giveaway on his campaign site. Facebook reversed the ban halfway through, stating that they could not find any violations of terms of service. But when Petersen launched the giveaway again last week, Facebook renewed the ban. He notes that other AR-15 giveaways have been conducted over Facebook. He suspects it may be related to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg donating $5,400 to his Democratic opponent Claire McCaskill.

The Great YouTube Purge

It’s not just Facebook that’s apparently been censoring conservatives. YouTube has taken down a rash of gun videos and videos addressing conspiracies in the past couple of weeks. Some right-leaning users found themselves locked out of their accounts. It’s being referred to as the “The Great YouTube Purge.” It comes after the first wave of censorship, demonetizing right-leaning YouTube channels, which takes away their ability to run ads.

YouTube is getting help from the Southern Poverty Law Center to identify “extremist” content. SPLC is known for labeling mainstream people and groups on the right as hate speech. YouTube also hires a large percentage of employees who are on the left.

The rightwing site Infowars, which covers conspiracies, is one strike away from being removed. When a YouTube account receives a community guidelines strike, they can no long livestream. This greatly hurts their traffic and advertising revenue. After three strikes, their account is terminated. Infowars has 2.2 million subscribers. YouTube recently took down some of their videos, but has relented and let them upload. 

YouTube also censored Jerome Corsi, whose breaking journalism made him a well-known name on the right. The tech giant removed one of his videos and disabled his livestreaming for 90 days. YouTube claimed the video violated a “community standard” against “harassment and bullying.”

Tim Pool had a video taken down where he covered the speculation – which he clearly admitted was dubious – that the gun control activists who emerged after the Florida school shooting were crisis actors. It was later reinstated.

YouTube claims it was cracking down on conspiracy theory videos. But apparently only on the right. YouTube is sponsoring a left-winger who claims 911 was an inside government job.

YouTube claims it was cracking down on conspiracy theory videos. But apparently only on the right.

Pool notices that YouTube News promotes mainstream media videos by news outlets like CNN, even though they get far fewer views than popular right wing channels.

RightSide Broadcasting livestreamed an alternative to the Oscars on YouTube, but YouTube demonetized it. This meant it could make little or no money from ads. The ban said, “content identified as not suitable for most advertisers.”

Blogger Mike Cernovich reported on March 1 that YouTube banned a video he uploaded reporting on Antifa chanting death threats. YouTube assigned a strike to his account. It was only a 30-second video of protesters chanting in Washington, D.C. They were chanting about guns for a revolution. This censors citizen journalism.

Sargon of Akkad, a well-known right-leaning pundit on YouTube, had his Google account shut down over an incident that occurred a year ago. This cut off access to his YouTube account. He posted on Facebook on March 1, “My YouTube channels had zero strikes. The purge is here.” His access was restored a day later.

Even Dr. Jordan B. Peterson received a strike for “hate speech.” Peterson is a psychology professor who gives lectures on political correctness and classical liberalism. He was eventually reinstated.

On February 20, YouTube removed three videos from the Military Arms Channel. They were “Sure Shot Exploding Targets,” “MAC Opens a Gun Shop – Copper Custom,” and “New Kel-Tec RDB Bullpup.” The channel has 700,000 subscribers. It receives over 100 million views per month. After The Outline contacted YouTube, two of the videos were restored.

YouTube claimed the censorship of the right was a mistake. The company admitted hiring left-wing employees led to the problem, “New moderators may have mistakenly removed or flagged right wing videos and channels.”

Twitter

Twitter continues to censor those on the right. On March 3, Devin Sena tweeted a photo of an unborn baby with the hashtag #TriggerALiberalIn4Words. Twitter added a warning next to the image which said it may contain sensitive material. The company also emailed Sena notifying him that his future tweets could be permanently censored if he didn’t self-censor in the future. Twitter has a history of censoring pro-life ads. It also has been exposed for shadowbanning accounts on the right.

Dan Bongino, who has become a well-known black conservative due to his frequent appearances on Fox News lately, had his ability to run ads on Twitter deactivated with no explanation.

It’s known that the big tech companies won’t accept ads to sell guns, but now they’re taking it a step further. The company Zore makes a gun safety product called Zore-X. It locks a firearm from shooting. In order to load a round, a dial placed on the gun must be turned left and right a certain number of clicks. Yet Facebook, Twitter and YouTube refuse to accept ads for it.

What to do About it

Some of the sites affected by the censorship have filed lawsuits. Prager U, a mainstream educational site founded by talk show host and best-selling author Dennis Prager, is currently battling YouTube in court over censorship. YouTube has placed at least 21 of Prager U videos on restricted viewership mode. This makes them unavailable to viewers under 18. The site experienced a decline in traffic from Facebook’s changing algorithm in January as well.

Corsi has suggested a Bill of Rights for the internet, to apply U.S. constitutional rights to the internet that the big tech companies often ignore. A petition has been posted on the White House site calling for this.

 

Follow Rachel on Twitter at Rach_IC.

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  • Kevin Carr

    While I disagree with what they are doing, do we actually have a right to demand that they inclusive? Should those that have the means and know how start up a=something similar, a social media that welcomes all.

    • Congress has threatened them, by referring to the Communications Decency Act’s section that makes them liable for ALL posted content if they do not maintain a fair and balanced, open public forum, since they claim to be one.

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    Right. Whatever it takes to diminish the odds of a GOP takeover happening in November.
    Left to themselves these guys will eventually reinvent free speech. Kinda like what previous fascist dictatorships were able through stealth & force to get away with. Until the people & American & allied Military might caused what was left of those countries to revisit their positions on free speech.
    Is that what it’s gonna take …?!

    • Ryan

      Beginning to look that way.

  • azsxdcf1

    I believe in the common man. I believe in common sense. I read THE STREAM because I like to be informed by The Truth, instead of just the lies of “the world media.” I am happy Trump won the election, because it shows me that Truth DOES Prevail. This too… YES… even this too, shall pass.

    BTW, I happily cast my name onto the petition for a Constitutional Platform of fairness to govern the internet; knowing FULL WELL, that the current “Goliath” called “the Media” (that: ” UNCIRCUMCISED PHILISTINE!”) must fall!

  • texantim

    Until we get some republicans with backbone in congress, it wont get any better. These kind of things are happening bc we have no one to fight for us against the mega-corps and the dimicrat political machine.

    • Del Allegood

      It doesn’t matter how much backbone a politician has,when he is being supported by large sums of money from those corporations.

      • texantim

        So thats the definition of ‘backbone’. Try again.

  • blackfeather

    thought control…right out of the communist manifesto.

  • Josh Shapiro

    Rachel, did these companies refuse to consider hiring you based on you being disbarred for fraud and having over $100k in delinquent debt?

  • LgVt

    The common thread here is money. Relying on advertising revenue from Facebook or YouTube or Twitter, to the point where you become dependent upon it, was a mistake from the start. Those sites should have been used for promotion, not income.

    It wouldn’t do much for the cases of outright censorship, but without that dependence, the threat of demonetization and ad removal would be all but toothless.

  • michael

    That’s why y’all can’t let the free market decide on what people watch . Youtube been targeting all kinds of videos .

    • Royce E. Van Blaricome

      Uh, no. That’s why there needs to be some of these Christian Millionaires/Billionaires step up to the plate, get the talent that is necessary to make something competitive to these Leftwing sites, and then make it happen.

      You’re not gonna convince me that isn’t a possibility.

      • michael

        Part of the problem is Google messing with the search results. If watch some rightwing stuff if it’s entertaining.

        • Royce E. Van Blaricome

          I don’t understand how your comment is at all germane to my point nor do I understand your last sentence unless you meant to say “I watch…” which, if so, would explain both your comments.

          • michael

            I meant to say that I would watch anything if I find it entertaining. The government might have to step in to break up Google .

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            I have to admit that I am almost always totally opposed to Gov’t intervention and instead letting the free market dictate. I hate the very idea of the Gov’t dictating to businesses how they run and believe competition is the better way to go. I didn’t support the Gov’t breaking up Microsoft, AT&T, etc.

            However, I’m not sure what to think now. The very idea of Gov’t intervention still grates me wrong but however, or why ever it is, there doesn’t seem to be an alternative to some of the media giants. So while I much prefer letting the marketplace of ideas dictate how businesses operate when it comes to a place where a very small number of mega-giant corporations dictate what ideas are even heard, I may have to rethink it all.

            Whether we like it or not, ideas and information influence others. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that many people will go with the flow and popular opinion. You might say it’s human nature.

            PragerU is a good example. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that they are on the Right. But it is the way in which they present their message that troubles the Left. Not just the message but rather than the message is put forth by a credible spokesperson, backed up with substantive fact, logic, and reason, and done so in a manner that the average Joe on the street can relate too. Contrast that with the impassioned demagoguery on the Left and one quickly sees why YouTube and others want them silenced.

            Another example would be the current Gun Control Movement by the Students fro Parkland. Look at the coverage by the major news outlets. How many of them reported anything about there being students from Parkland, and elsewhere, that do NOT think Gun Control is the answer? How much air time have you seen Kyle Kashuv get compared to Kasky, Hogg, and the others?

            So, I think it’s pretty obvious that there is a dedicated and determined effort to control the message, who sees it, where, when, how, etc. But, even with all that said, is there a point that comes when taking personal responsibility for informing oneself is abdicated to the Gov’t? And if we allow the Gov’t to control the message and do those things, would that not be even more dangerous?

            I honestly am not sure.

  • Royce E. Van Blaricome

    This is why I’ve been saying for YEARS, “Where are the Christians with the talent and the resources to provide a competitive alternative?”

    Does anyone really believe that there aren’t Christians with the talent of a Zuckerberg or Gates or Page/Brin or any of the Founders of Twitter? Where are the Christian Millionaires or Billionaires looking for talented Christian Entrepreneurs to back financially to provide an alternative to the evil, wicked, and worldly?

    I’ll tell ya one thing. I’d sure hate to be a Christian Millionaire or Billionaire and stand before Christ on Judgment Day and give an account as to why I had all that money in a bank somewhere but never used a dime of it it support godly ventures and causes.

  • Del Allegood

    Yahoo is another large censor of conservative info.

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