Battle brewing: Big Tech vs. conservatives

Thursday, October 22, 2020
 | 
Chris Woodward, Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

browsing on smartphoneMedia watchdogs and pro-life groups are taking some of the hi-tech giants to task for corporate policies that stifle conservative voices, effectively censoring them and unfairly influencing the upcoming election.

Those comprising 'Big Tech' – Twitter, Facebook, Google and the rest – have been expressing their desire to silence President Donald Trump with their policies and practices. But in a first, one of their own has actually said it out loud:

Peter Greenberger: "We are in a unique, and I believe a fraught moment in time, with a president who is desperate and he's facing a very difficult situation. I think the time is to mute the president – temporarily – while the votes are being cast right now and until the winner is decided."

That's Peter Greenberger, Twitter's former global director of content partnership, talking to CNN's Jake Tapper. Scott Whitlock with Media Research Center says Big Tech has crossed a line.

Whitlock

"This is chilling: what we're seeing with Facebook and Twitter is they're putting their thumbs on the scale," Whitlock tells OneNewsNow. "They are trying to influence the election and they're doing it in ways that, frankly, when [compared] to the mainstream media and the old media, it's even more blunt."

MRC and other watchdog groups are making a big deal out of this, Whitlock explains.

"The message is we don't want a repeat of what we saw for 50 to 60 years with old media, starting with Walter Cronkite and going back to when it was just the 'Big Three' networks," he says. "We don't want a repeat of conservatives being iced out of media."

Big Tech, which is under at least two federal investigations, has a choice, according to the MRC spokesman.

"Which way do they want to go? Do they want to fight for the right to censor – or are they going to be more fair and balanced?" he asks. "If the answer is they want to fight, then conservatives need to be ready to fight Big Tech."

At the head of the line

At least one pro-life group is ready to fight back. Live Action is calling on its supporters to contact their legislators and let them know how they feel about Big Tech censorship.

"Make sure your representative hears from you and your concern over Big Tech's increasing suppression of pro-life speech," says Alison Centofante of Live Action. "It's looking more and more like the federal government may have to get involved in calling these Big Tech leaders before Congress to be held accountable for the ways they're treating the messages on their platform."

Centofante

Live Action's concerns are not new, as Centofante explains.

"On Twitter, the accounts for Live Action and its founder, Lila Rose, have both been banned from advertising," says Centofante. "They can post organically, but they can't put any money behind their messages in the same way that pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood can."

When Live Action contacted Twitter to find out why, Centofante says they were told the content is in violation of Twitter's guidelines. "We share ultrasound images of pre-born children, petitions to defund Planned Parenthood, investigations into Planned Parenthood – and this is all in an email from Twitter," Centofante continues.

Live Action has appealed the decision on several occasions, and highlighted the fact that Planned Parenthood is free to advertise its pro-abortion messages on the platform.

"But Live Action, our founder Lila Rose, still cannot," Centofante fumes. "This is clear bias."

When it comes to Facebook, Live Action takes serious issue with Facebook's "third-party fact-checking" panels. Those doing the alleged fact-checking, according to the pro-lifer, include actual abortionists.

"These fact-checkers … have flagged Live Action's videos [and messages] as false," Centofante explains, adding that the account has been "flagged," effectively reducing their reach. "These [fact-checkers] are people who have a vested interest in the continuation of abortion and the normalization of abortion."

Meanwhile, Centofante shares that YouTube suppressed Live Action's videos after a tech writer from Slate reported she contacted the video-sharing website in late 2018 to say she did not like the videos that appeared during a search for the word "abortion."

"I don't know what she expected to find, but she found Live Action's videos showing an abortion procedure – a medical animation of an abortion procedure, the kind you'd see at any medical school – and she writes in Slate that she reached out to YouTube complaining about what that word search of 'abortion' revealed," says Centofante. "She boasts that by Monday morning, the search results had changed."

YouTube has ties to Google, something Centofante views as a clear problem.

"The president of Planned Parenthood posed in a photo at Google headquarters with executives in 2019 and tweeted 'Tech Stands With PP,'" notes the Live Action spokeswoman. "There are clear, clear situations here where the leadership of these organizations are in cahoots with the leadership of Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider – and Live Action is going to keep shining a light on it because it's creating unfair treatment on this great debate about abortion."

Centofante believes that if this was done on any other hot-button issue – such as immigration, gun control, or the environment – there would be such outcry.

"But yet it's okay when Big Tech steps into the great debate on abortion and picks winners and losers, [and] says this side is right and this side is wrong," Centofante argues. "It would not be allowed in any other conversation, and it should not be allowed here."

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