Tech companies have become the subject of intense scrutiny from conservatives after several notable incidents of the decision-makers at these companies using their authority to restrict, sensor, or demonetize right-wing figures.
According to Breitbart, Twitter blocked a campaign video for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). Blackburn’s video described her efforts to “stop the sale of baby body parts” by Planned Parenthood. Twitter pulled the video because it was deemed “inflammatory.”
Blackburn, a conservative favorite in the House of Representatives, has declared her candidacy for the Senate seat currently occupied by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN).
As Christian News Alerts notes, Corker announced that he’s not running for re-election following the devastating Republican primary win of populist Judge Roy Moore against the McConnell-backed establishment figure Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL).
Blackburn has a solid conservative record and is seen as a favorite to pick up the GOP nod. Her prominent role as a member of the inner-party insurgency against the moderate Republican establishment made Twitter’s act of censorship even more noteworthy.
The congresswoman’s video touted her actions against the sale of aborted children’s body parts, a reference to her tenure as chair of House Select Investigative Panel on Planned Parenthood.
The panel was created in response to shocking video footage from the Center for Medical Progress, which showed Planned Parenthood personnel bragging about collecting baby body parts for sale to medical research groups.
Blackburn’s campaign video also featured information about her positions on major issues, such as Obamacare and the Second Amendment. In the ad, the congresswoman proudly declared her commitment to the conservative principles of her constituents.
“I know the left calls me a wingnut or a knuckle-dragging conservative,” Blackburn said. And you know what? I say that’s alright.” However, her message was hindered by the sudden removal of her video. Twitter revealed it had taken action due to the allegedly “inflammatory” nature of the lawmaker’s comments. The explanation for the unexpected move was brief.
According to one of the tech giant’s employees, Twitter said Blackburn’s video was “deemed an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction.” The censorship decision prompted Blackburn to say she is “standing up to Silicon Valley.” This is only the latest in a series of actions social media platforms have taken against conservative content creators. The effects of these incidents are far-reaching, as such censorship can destroy businesses and stifle political movements.
As Fox Business reports, the social media platform Gab, which promotes itself as a “free speech” alternative to Twitter, had its app removed from the Google Play store last month. And as the Washington Times notes, the Trump-supporting sisters Diamond and Silk have had 95 percent of their videos on YouTube inexplicably demonetized.
Twitter censored Rep. Blackburn for her pro-life statements. Should Twitter apologize for censoring her?
The Independent Sentinel reports that former congressman and libertarian icon Ron Paul has also had his YouTube videos demonetized. Meanwhile, as ABC News reports, Google and Facebook are attempting to crack down on “fake news” through the use of algorithms and hiring staff specifically to vet content.
Conservatives fear these companies are using “fake news” as a general label to describe right-wing news. Because many publishers rely heavily on social media, widespread censorship by the biggest tech companies could effectively run conservative outlets out of business.