Two Villains of Social Media

social media

It comes as no surprise that the biggest social media companies have a liberal lean. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are constantly in the news for silencing conservatives and promoting liberals.

Social media is a double-edged sword. Commenters on the internet have been known for years for spreading hate, but now the leadership is in on it too.

Villain #1: The Users

Commenters on the internet tend to be much more negative than positive. Sometimes they will dispute facts in a given article, video, or tweet, but inevitably they make things personal.

The anonymity on the internet is one of the biggest contributing factors of this negativity. When you’re in person in a civil society most people will work to come off as friendly, regardless of their disagreements. On the internet, however, it’s easy to hide behind a screen name or avatar. Negativity will almost never come back to affect the writer in any real-world way.

Until recently the social media companies have tried to stay “impartial.” This, however, may be because the people who were more vocal and hateful on the internet happened to be younger and more liberal, like them.

Villain #2: The Companies

Not only did the most vocal users tend to be more liberal, but the savviest users tended to match up with their political views too. Once conservatives began to use these social media outlets more effectively, the companies stopped being impartial, and have been coming for conservatives.

Twitter was recently exposed by Project Veritas that the engineers shadow ban conservatives. Shadow banning is when they don’t share a user’s post to all of their followers in order to limit who sees it. Twitter doesn’t actually inform the user that their being shadowbanned.

Additionally, they have suspended thousands of accounts under the guise of being “bots,” but most of those were conservatives and real accounts. They’ve also removed verification from many right-wing speakers with whom they disagree while allowing radical leftists, like known anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, to remain verified.

YouTube is another prominent social media account that treats conservatives far worse than liberals. In August 2017, YouTube vowed to punish users promoting “controversial religious and supremacist” content. However, this has led to the censorship and demonization of those with who they disagree politically.

Prominent conservative comedian, Steven Crowder, was recently suspended by Twitter and YouTube for “hateful comments.” This is due to a video in which his intern crashed a gender fluid panel at the SXSW Festival claiming to identify as a computer.

PragerU, a conservative organization that creates short educational videos, has also lost millions of dollars due to Youtube demonetizing and censoring their videos. These videos have explained aspects of Christianity, beliefs of Islam, and deceptions of Planned Parenthood. This has led PragerU to sue the social media company for violation of their own terms of service and for free speech violation.

Finally, Facebook is under fire for allowing Cambridge Analytica to take user data and use it aid President Trump’s presidential campaign. After this information came to light, Facebook quickly kicked Cambridge Analytica of its platform. This is in contrast to when the Obama 2012 campaign mined user data in a similar way and was praised for their savviness. A former Obama campaign official said Facebook allowed them to use mined data because “they were on our side.”

If that’s not an open admission that these social media companies operate to push a liberal agenda, then I don’t know what is.