Media promotes study claiming big tech has no bias against conservatives
February 3, 2021
New York University released a study Monday that suggests conservatives face no bias on social media platforms.
The study, titled, “False Accusation: The Unfounded Claim that Social Media Companies Censor Conservatives,” claims that social media bias against conservatives is “a falsehood with no reliable evidence to support it.” News outlets from The Washington Post to Politico boosted the study shortly after its publication.
However, the NYU study glosses over many major examples of the very conservative media bias it seeks to debunk.
The study defends Twitter for censoring the New York Post’s story on Hunter Biden’s laptop, which Twitter claimed was because it violated a rule against sharing hacked materials. But according to the owner of the repair shop where the laptop was left, the laptop was not hacked (a claim Hunter Biden himself does not dispute).
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey stopped short of defending the decision in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the matter, when pressed by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).
“We realize that and we recognize it as a mistake that we made both in terms of the intention of the policy and also the enforcement action of not allowing people to share it publicly or privately,” Dorsey said.
The study also fails to mention the fact that the New York Post was locked out of its Twitter account for two full weeks. Instead, the researchers concluded that this instance of censorship is “a case of reasonable decisions wrapped in mystifying processes.”
The study also claims that Twitter and Facebook were transparent regarding their ban of President Donald Trump’s account, despite that Trump never technically incited violence on either platform, according to the tweets cited in Twitter’s report.
The researchers did mention that while Trump was banned, Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran – who has called for the complete annihilation of Israel – is still allowed to tweet.
This is a clear double standard. But the study simply doesn’t think so. Researchers said that while Twitter should re-think its rules, this does not show anti-conservative animus.
But conservatives are banned and suspended from these platforms at a much higher rate than liberals, sometimes with no clear explanation as to why.
Last year, Steven Crowder had his Facebook live stream of the election coverage (with more than 8 million views) cut off with no explanation given.
The study glosses over examples like this as well, simply stating that “the right spreads more content that violates platform rules than the left. In light of this discrepancy, it stands to reason that right-leaning content would face labeling, demotion, or removal more frequently than left- leaning content.” But if no valid reason is given for many of these bans and suspensions, then how is this conclusion logical?
And a Pew Research study shows that most Americans think social media sites censor political viewpoints – conservative ones in particular.
The NYU study was funded in part by billionaire and major Democrat donor Craig Newmark.
Newmark is the founder of Craigslist and donated $100,000 towards Biden’s presidential campaign. He also donated “$35,500 to the DNC in June 2020… tens of thousands of dollars to President Obama’s campaign, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi,” according to the Daily Caller. Neither the Washington Post nor Politico mentioned Newmark in their articles on the study.