Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-7) recently posted a video to her Twitter feed announcing her candidacy to replace outgoing Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) in Tennessee. Last week, she found that Twitter had blocked the video from being promoted, deeming
one line “an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction.” The video included little more than Blackburn announcing her candidacy and listing her political beliefs, information found on every legislator’s official webpage. In this brazen display of hypocrisy and political meddling, Twitter has once again outdone itself in the realm of censoring conservative voices and demonstrating its deep hypocrisy.
Case in point, inflammatory statements “likely to evoke strong negative reactions” are all over Twitter. #AssassinateTrump is available for use, and reportedly ISIS regularly uses the platform for recruiting. Were Twitter proactively trying to display its political bent for all to see, the juxtaposition of #AssassinateTrump and censorship of Blackburn’s video, in which she does little more than recite her campaign platform which includes her pro-life views, would be a great option. Twitter is okay with facilitating physical threats to the sitting President of the United States, while an actual piece of campaign material featuring a sitting member of Congress, is “inflammatory.” You do the math.
Twitter, and many of its peers in Silicon Valley, have anointed themselves gatekeepers of our information exchanges. The fact that the site can decide that political content, namely conservative political content, would “evoke a strong negative reaction” is cherry picking. In fact, it could really be considered a concerted effort to propagate one side of the political spectrum. Who’s to say which policies are best for all Americans? That’s what open elections are for. That’s not why we created social media.
According to data from Pew Research Center, 67 percent of adult Americans now get at least some of their news on social media. Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and the like have in many ways become an intermediary between people and traditional news outlets, informing decisions on what content to view and where. This additional step has seen liberal tech giants create a new way for themselves to filter content and, if Facebook’s Russia scandal is any indication, potentially allow unsavory users to influence the democratic process.
Twitter’s block of Blackburn’s video is only the latest instance of rampant censorship of conservatives on Silicon Valley’s creations. The more dependent we become on social media for news and on Google for search, the more powerful the facilitators of these services become. And if recent events like the censorship of Blackburn are any indication, this trend plays heavily in the favor of the far left agenda of Silicon Valley, and not all of the folks using their services.
The blatant hypocrisy exhibited by Twitter in this instance and many others is inflammatory — an elected official reiterating her stance on a belief that led thousands of voters to line up and elect her to Congress is not. And the fact that Twitter backtracked the decision to ban Blackburn’s ad after “reconsidering the ad in the context of the entire message” does not make the initial offense any better. #TwitterHypocrisy is not a particularly popular hashtag, but it should be. At any rate, it would likely last a fleeting moment in the limelight before the same powers that be that suppressed Blackburn’s message deemed it “inflammatory.”
It’s time to hold Twitter and other Silicon Valley monopolies accountable for their subjective combing of content on their platforms. The stakes are too high to ignore this threat to our right to free speech on the internet.
Christie-Lee McNally is the founder of Free Our Internet. She was the Maine Statewide Director for Donald J. Trump for President in 2016, is a concealed weapons permit holder, and a USAW Certified Olympic Lifting Coach. To read more of her reports — Click Here Now.
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