One Playground, Two Rules: Stifling Conservative Speech on Online Platforms

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In 2017, James Damore – a senior software engineer at Google, made a seemingly straightforward remark on gender gaps in a memo that nearly ended up costing him his career. He said ‘men and women are biologically different’ and that ‘it is authoritarian to try to correct disparities through reverse discrimination’.

You could think of it as an independent opinion and choose to respect (or ignore) his position regardless of its political correctness, but what Google did, was just the opposite.

They fired him for his ‘incorrect assumptions’ on Gender and many left-wing commentators lashed out, going so far as to call him a loser and a bigot; with some liberal groups even making fun of his late-teen autism.

For someone who coded his own game at the age of 11 and earned a Degree in Biology from Harvard, the criticisms seemed a bit too insolent. Although you cannot blame Google for the dismissal, which it would have done to anyone who violated their code of conduct, it did make the conservative circle a bit uncomfortable and raised questions on whether the Big Tech overtly supports the liberal left.

The mainstream media and talk show hosts have been trying to make it sound rather paltry, but whichever way you slice it – the bias is as evident as daylight. The Media Research Centre of USA even confirms this in a report released in 2018, specifically pointing out deliberate attempts at stifling conservative speech on online platforms. Examples include restricting the reach of conservative video platform PragerU, demonetizing talk show hosts Steven Crowder and Dave Rubin, silencing syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin, ‘shadow banning’ the official twitter handle of ‘Women For Trump’, along with provisionally, permanently and ‘accidentally’ deleting the posts and accounts of several conservative commentators.

An independent study conducted by Richard Hanania, a postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia University found that of the 22 prominent, politically active individuals who were suspended on Twitter since 2005, 21 happen to be supporters of Donald Trump. This stark dichotomy – is precisely what worries conservatives.

Weirdly enough, it isn’t just online political commentators that took a hit. Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn had her campaign video blocked in 2017 as it contained a message that criticized abortion and Planned Parenthood. Twitter conveniently restricted it saying it would hurt the emotions of a certain group and incite violent reactions, but never has a pro-abortion post, image or video been removed or restricted in the name of ‘compassion’. Apparently, ‘pro-life’ emotions getting hurt, doesn’t seem to bother the tech giant one bit.

Jesse Kelly, an Iraq War Veteran and a former GOP congressional candidate, was banned from Twitter in 2018, just months after conservative commentator Candace Owens was ‘accidentally’ barred from logging in. Six months later, conservative author and activist David Horowitz also bore the brunt of censorship but twitter’s justification, despite reinstating all 3 accounts after tremendous backlash – was far from conclusive.

As if these weren’t enough, Twitter took it to the President himself, targeting virtually every video he shared on their platform. One embarrassing moment that palpably exposed this bias was when a 4-minute tribute for George Floyd – posted by the President, was taken down citing copyright reasons. Minutes after the deletion, a leading left wing media outlet openly criticized the President for “not bothering to tweet about George Floyd”, almost making you wonder if it was purposely set up to make another ‘orange man bad’ headline. Surprisingly, when the President released a meme mocking the news outlet’s lack of credibility in return, Twitter removed it – labeling the content ‘manipulative’.

Twitter broadly categorizes these under the title ‘hateful conduct’ while granting the liberty to progressive authors like Clementine Ford to continuously churn out tweets that are profane and offensive. Most of them are too explicit to be paraphrased but here are a few that caught the attention of the Internet – ‘Kill all men’, ‘Why doesn’t Corona kill men fast enough’, ‘Ban the word men’, ‘Men are gross and rapists, kill them all’, and the list goes on. What’s worse than the generic insults however, are the personal ones that usually send reporters scrambling for euphemisms. Notable recipients include Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Conservative Columnist Miranda Devine.

Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett, a mother of 7 and a strong woman with an impeccable career record – wasn’t spared either. Author Lauren Hough called her ‘a handmaid with a clown car v****a’, inflaming further hateful tweets from her supporters, one of which analogized delivering a child to ‘taking a dump’. Apparently for twitter, none of these were considered even remotely hateful.

Twitter’s implicit support for the democrats became evident again after it censored The New York Post story on Hunter Biden’s controversial business dealings in Ukraine. In what would have been a premier news story and an ‘Impeachable offense’ had Donald Trump committed it, the Big Tech and mainstream media are trying hard to cover it up, by either not adequately reporting on it or locking out the people who actually do.

It is ironic how the same media outlets that felt outraged over The President mispronouncing the first name of the democratic vice-presidential candidate – now call the anti-trust hearing a petty political stunt. All things considered, this entire ruckus seems to have only benefitted the incumbents and what’s left to be seen – is how it translates into votes.

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