All six witnesses representing Big Tech companies before a Senate committee last week mentioned “misinformation,” “disinformation” and/or “hate speech.”
Company executives, current and former, associated with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok endorsed some form of social media censorship of those types of speech during a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on Wednesday. Leftists commonly apply those terms in a subjective manner as cover to call for more social media censorship.
“[M]isinformation and disinformation can propagate via [social media] platforms on a scale unseen in human history,” former Twitter Senior Vice President of Engineering Alex Roetter crowed in testimony given before the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday.
Twitter’s second witness, Consumer Products General Manager Jay Sullivan, paid lip service to “the ability to dissent” online and to share provocative “information and opinions freely,” before he absurdly hedged that free speech doesn’t work when people are offended.
“That is why we have policies that make clear that we will not allow for the promotion of violence, disinformation, or hateful conduct on Twitter as they undermine our ability to serve the public conversation, our customer experience, our business, and our ability to promote the open internet,” Sullivan testified.
Brian Boland, a former Facebook vice president, even called for a future Internet scrubbed of content deemed objectionable by some people.
In his testimony, he called for Congress to “incentivize these companies to study, measure, prioritize and invest in innovations that can stem the tide of disinformation, misinformation and harmful content.”
Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox started his testimony speaking to the importance of creating a safe space and the connected need to enforce “hate speech” restrictions.
Later in his testimony, Cox bragged about his company’s censorship efforts, noting over 40,000 people work on “safety and security issues” and that the company has “more than halved” the amount of “hate speech” that users saw during the last 18 months, in part, through the use of artificial intelligence.
“Hate speech now represents only about 0.02% of content views, or around 2 views per every 10,000,” Cox testified.
Vanessa Pappas, chief operating officer of the propaganda-pushing, Chinese Communist Party-linked TikTok, ridiculously claimed that her platform actually acts to “prohibit harmful misinformation” and promote safety.
“We educate our community about these guidelines in a variety of ways in the app,” Pappas testified. “For example, we produce in app videos called @tiktoktips, that help people understand how to produce safe content and avoid content that might get their videos removed from the platform. People are notified when they have violated the guidelines and of the consequence(s) of their violation(s).”
Neal Mohan, YouTube chief product officer and Google senior vice president, claimed “harmful misinformation” represents “borderline content,” adding that his platforms use machine learning to reduce recommendations of these types of content.
“We are able to raise up authoritative information and reduce borderline content by using classifiers to identify whether a video is ‘authoritative’ or ‘borderline,’” Mohan claimed. “These classifications rely on human evaluators who assess the quality of information in each channel or video.”
The issue, though, is that no one individual has the authority to determine what constitutes authoritative content or borderline content.
Leftists in the past have wielded the terms “misinformation,” “disinformation” and “hate speech” to target independent thought and call for more censorship.
In July, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres claimed fighting so-called “misinformation” – i.e., censorship – is “a matter of life and death.
In the wake of the termination of the Biden administration’s Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) in August, the Department of Homeland Security indicated that it will continue its focus on combating so-called “disinformation” online, including supposed “domestic violent extremism,” a phrase commonly used by liberals to scold conservatives.
In the vein of “hate speech,” the White House in June launched a task force to address alleged “online harassment and abuse,” including so-called “gendered disinformation,” according to a presidential memo.
Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech mirror the First Amendment and provide an equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.