A new report has found that the social media accounts of President Donald Trump as well as his re-election campaign have been censored more than five dozen times while his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, has faced no censorship at all.
NewsBusters, the blog for the conservative media watchdog Media Research Center, released a report Monday titled “Twitter, Facebook Censored Trump, Campaign 65 Times, Leave Biden Untouched.” The report analyzed social media posts of the two presidential candidates as well as their respective campaigns from May 2018 to Oct. 16, 2020.
According to the report, “Twitter composes the bulk of the problem, with 98 percent of all the instances of censorship. … Twitter has been by far and away the biggest offender, labeling, fact-checking and removing Trump’s tweets and the tweets from his campaign accounts 64 times since the president’s election.”
“Tweets about the president’s concern over mail-in voting, COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement have been given ‘public interest notices,’” the report noted. “Videos retweeted by the president depicting a satirical version of Biden walking on stage to the song ‘F*** tha Police’ have been deleted as well, after a fact-check from Poynter Institute’s PolitiFact.”
Three of Trump’s tweets touting hydroxychloroquine as an effective treatment for the coronavirus were completely removed from the platform. Four videos have been removed from the president’s campaign account, including one featuring a pro-life message. Twitter also scrubbed a meme featuring the president saying “in reality, they’re not after me; they’re after you” from one of his tweets.
Twitter’s censorship has received renewed scrutiny in the past week as a result of its actions to suppress distribution of the New York Post story alleging that Hunter Biden used his father’s position as vice president for personal gain. The Trump campaign’s Twitter account was just one of many accounts suspended for sharing the story.
While Facebook has engaged in censorship far less than Twitter, it has still flagged or removed content from Trump and his presidential campaign. Facebook took down a video asking Trump supporters to “sign a petition and stand with your President and his decision to declare ANTIFA a terrorist organization,” citing a violation of the company’s “organized hate policy.”
Members of both the legislative and executive branches of the federal government have attempted to address social media censorship. Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Justice released a report recommending an overhaul of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which exempts social media companies from civil liability regarding content added to or removed from their platforms.
According to the DOJ report, this immunity has left social media companies “free to moderate content with little transparency or accountability.” The report’s publication came one month after Trump signed an executive order directing federal agencies to crack down on social media censorship.
With the 2020 presidential election less than two weeks away, the Senate Judiciary Committee is voting on whether or not to subpoena the CEOs of Twitter and Facebook Thursday. Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a member of the committee, called on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to “come before this committee and the American people to explain why Twitter is abusing their corporate power to silence the press and to cover up allegations of corruption.”
“Twitter and Facebook and Big Tech billionaires don’t get to censor political speech and actively interfere in the election—that’s what they are doing right now,” he added.
Silicon Valley officials have made their preferences in the 2020 election clear. A previous report from NewsBusters found that “Twitter has contributed a whopping 98.99 percent ($347,270) of its donations to Democrats via individual donations of $200 or more” while “only 1.01 percent ($3,356) went to Republicans.”
“Facebook has contributed 91.68 percent ($2,409,464 out of $2,628,040) of its donations to Democrats collectively between individual donations ($2,400,269) and PAC donations ($234,000) equaling $200 or more. Only 8.32 percent ($218,576) went to Republicans.”