According to the most recent quarterly censorship report card from the Media Research Center (MRC), most of the major Silicon Valley tech titans are failing to protect freedom of expression.
“By almost any measure, the first three months of 2021 were the worst ever for online freedom. Amazon, Twitter, Apple, Google, Facebook, YouTube and others proved to the world that the Big Tech censorship of conservatives is a reality,” the group said. “And they did so in disturbing, authoritarian ways that highlight their unchecked power over information and our political process.”
The report card featured four categories for each company, Free Speech, User Transparency, Responsiveness to User Complaints and Fact-Checks. The cumulative grades from each category culminated in an overall grade.
Here are some of the lowlights, according to the report:
- MRC gave Amazon an “F” grade, citing Amazon Web Services’ refusal to host Parler, a Twitter alternative, earlier this year. The company said Parler violated its terms of service by allowing users on its platform who helped coordinate the mostly peaceful protest at the Capitol on Jan. 6. The company also banned “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment,” a book by Ryan T. Anderson, claiming that “not sell books that frame LGBTQ+ identity as a mental illness.” Anderson never claimed that in his book. Meanwhile, the platform still sells Adolph Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.” It also banned a documentary by black conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words” during Black History Month.
- Apple also received an “F” grade. That company, too, banned Parler from its App Store. It also briefly banned Anderson’s book “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment,” despite carrying the leftist “Communist Manifesto,” and also carrying “Mein Kampf.”
- Twitter received an “F” grade, too. It banned former President Donald J. Trump, and before that, placed arbitrary warning labels on his tweets at its own discretion. It also banned Project Veritas, and censored conservative commentator Dan Bongino, along with Catholic World Report, according to MRC. In the subcategory for “Bias,” MRC gave Twitter an “F,” noting that it “cracked down on what it deemed COVID-19 misleading information, yet caught up respected scientists and doctors with its flawed policy.”
Not every Silicon Valley company received an “F.” Some received a slightly better “D” grade.
- Google received a “D.” It removed Parler from its Google Play Store, and banned LifeSite News from its advertising platforms. A class action lawsuit has been filed against Google, alleging that its Play Store is a monopoly. It also censored 100,000 negative reviews of the Robinhood app, which froze trading on certain stocks when retail traders stuck it to Wall Street hedge funds who had short positions in those stocks by driving the prices up. MRC also knocked Google for using Wikipedia “knowledge boxes” in many of its top search results. Wikipedia is an often-unreliable, left-wing source of information.
- Facebook also received a “D.” MRC focused primarily on the site’s bogus “fact-checking” practices, for which it teams up with the leftist-funded Poynter Institute. But it also banned Trump, and then banned an interview by Lara Trump featuring her father-in-law. It censored, in some way or another, conservative actors Kevin Sorbo and Nick Searcy, One America News Network (OANN) host Liz Wheeler, The Blaze’s Elijah Schaffer, former presidential candidate and congressman Ron Paul, along with the late Rush Limbaugh of conservative talk radio fame.
- Google-owned YouTube managed a “D’ grade, despite immense censorship. It banned Trump’s CPAC speech from the platform, and suspended Right Side Broadcasting Network’s channel for two weeks, simply for sharing the video. It demonetized The Epoch Times’ channel, and outrightly banned LifeSite News, for spreading what it called “medical misinformation.” It censored conservative commentator Steven Crowder multiple times, and even removed a video by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) from a U.S. Senate hearing.
– – –