Ed Markey Says Big Tech Isn’t Doing Enough Censoring

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2020/10/29/ed-markey-says-big-tech-isnt-doing-enough-censoring/

Does big tech censor conservatives and political dissidents?

Many Americans thinks so — 73 percent of U.S. adults say that it is likely that social media sites “intentionally censor political viewpoints that they find objectionable,” according to Pew Research.

However, U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) sees a different side:  he doesn’t think that big tech companies like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are doing enough to suppress certain content.

Markey spoke during a U.S. Senate Commerce Committee hearing which featured testimony from executives at Google, Facebook, and Twitter on Wednesday, October 27. He started off by saying the sites don’t have any bias against conservatives.

“Republicans can and should join us on the real problems posed by Big Tech,” Markey said. “But they want to feed a false narrative about anti-conservative bias so it will stand idly by again.”

“The Big Tech business model, which puts profits ahead of people, is a real problem. Anti-conservative bias is not a problem,” he added.

Then Markey said the sites should take a more active role in censoring content. 

“The issue is not that the companies before us today is that they’re taking too many posts down. The issue is that they’re leaving too many dangerous posts up,” Markey said.

“In fact, they’re amplifying harmful content so that it spreads like wildfire and torches our democracy,” Markey continued.

Markey aimed his criticism directly at Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg, suggesting his company bears responsibility for spreading the public statements of President Donald Trump.

“Mr. Zuckerberg, when President Trump posted on Facebook that when ‘the looting starts the shooting starts,’ you failed to take down that post. Within a day, the post had hundreds of thousands of shares and likes on Facebook,” Markey said. “Since then, the president has gone on national television and told a hate group to quote ‘stand by,’ and he has repeatedly refused to commit that he will accept the election results.”

Markey tried to get a commitment from Zuckerberg to censor President Trump.

“Mr. Zuckerberg, can you commit that if the president goes on Facebook and encourages violence after election results are announced that you will make sure your company’s algorithms don’t spread that content and you will immediately remove those messages?” Markey asked.

Zuckerberg agreed.

“Senator, yes. Incitement of violence is against our policy, and there are not exceptions for that, including for politicians,” Zuckerberg said.

Markey has previously said that President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence “are leading an openly fascist, sexist, and white supremacist administration.”


It’s a sentiment he has expressed more than once.

Markey has himself fielded criticism for spreading false statements on the Internet.

On September 1, for example, he tweeted out, “Our government has the money to fund Medicare for All and a Green New Deal. It’s right there in the Pentagon’s budget.”

But those cost estimates are off. The Pentagon budget is $712 billion in fiscal year 2020. Estimates peg the Green New Deal as costing anywhere between $51 trillion to $93 trillion over a decade. Then Medicare-for-All would cost more than $5 trillion annually.

Twitter did not censor Markey’s tweet.

In May 2017 Markey spread false rumors during an appearance on CNN that a grand jury had been convened in New York to investigate President Trump, statements that Markey’s office later retracted.

As for Markey’s statement that Big Tech companies aren’t biased against conservatives, many critics of Big Tech companies disagree.

Facebook and Twitter censored President Trump 65 times from May 31, 2018 to October 16, 2020, according to the Media Research Center. They did not censor former vice president Joe Biden at all in that timeframe. Twitter has also been accused of shadow-banning popular right-wing accounts.

Additionally, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) said that Twitter revealed its bias this week when the site suspended the account of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan for a post praising construction progress on the southern border wall. 

The tweet that led to Morgan’s suspension states:  “.@CBP & USACEHQ continue to build new wall every day. Every mile helps us stop gang members, murderers, sexual predators, and drugs from entering our country. It’s a fact, walls work.” — as he confirmed to The Federalist.

In 2018, Facebook changed its algorithms to promote sites the company deemed “trustworthy.” The result? It boosted traffic to left-leaning sites by 2 percent while conservative sites saw a 14 percent drop, according to The Western Journal.

Many on the right, including pundit Ben Shapiro, argue that YouTube’s so-called hate speech policies are in-part a way to suppress right-wing voices while propping up left-wingers.

Google trends left. In its daily doodles, for instance, Google has honored Cesar Chavez instead of Easter and ignored D-Day.

In August 2017, Google fired a software engineer for suggesting in an intra-company posting that discrimination against women doesn’t explain why there are more men among software engineers than women.

That software engineer was a rare right-leaning employee of the company. About 90 percent of political contributions from Google employees go to Democrats.