Information Online Not Reaching Americans Due to Big Tech's 'Secondhand Censorship,' Watchdog Says
Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell has alleged that “140 million times information didn’t reach the American people” because of 172 acts of censorship alone that the organization confirmed during the first three months of 2022.
Big tech platforms have kept information away from social media users in the United States on an astounding number of occasions this year alone, Fox News reports, citing the findings of a watchdog organization called the Media Research Center (MRC).
The watchdog alleged that Big Tech implements so-called “secondhand censorship” to “shield” people in the United States from certain content they would have otherwise encountered on social media, and that seven platforms – Facebook*, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram*, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Spotify – kept information from users some 144,301,713 times in the first quarter of 2022.
Secondhand censorship was defined by the organization as "the number of times that users on social media had information kept from them" by Big Tech, with the effects of it being calculated “by adding the number of followers each account had at the time of each censorship case recorded during the quarter," the media outlet notes.
"The secondhand censorship effect for the first quarter of 2022 includes only the censorship cases we found or were informed about. Because of this, it represents a mere fraction of the total scale of secondhand censorship taking place," Brian Bradley and Gabriela Pariseau, authors of the study conducted by the MRC’s Free Speech America project, said as quoted by Fox News.
"Big Tech’s lack of transparency means that an incalculable amount of censorship – beyond what is shown in this report – takes place every day," they added.
Discussing these findings on "Fox News @ Night," MRC founder Brent Bozell argued that “the censorship of conservatives and Christians, and most especially conservative Christians, by Big Tech is a huge problem."
"It is enormous because it is affecting the public square in ways that has never happened in American history. So, how important is this? Those of us who have been looking at censorship have been looking at it from the standpoint of the producers. We’ve logged, we’ve verified about 4,000 cases that are confirmed examples of censorship," he said. "But we haven’t looked at it from the standpoint of the consumer. What’s the effect of that censorship?"
According to Bozell, due to just 172 cases of censorship they confirmed during the first three months of this year, “140 million times information didn’t reach the American people.”
He also argued that while one does not often hear liberals complain about being censored, the same cannot be said about conservatives.
"We only looked at three months… we didn’t look at people who’ve already been censored… had we looked at cases of censorship before that three-month period, it would have been billons of pieces of information that have never reached the American people because of the censorship," Bozell added.
*Facebook and Instagram are banned in Russia over extremist activities