Does Conservative 'Bias' And 'Censorship' Exist On Social Media Platforms?
In right-wing media discussions about social media, there is a popular narrative that conservatives are subject to bias and even "censorship" on prominent social media sites including Facebook and Twitter.
Because they are private companies, under Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, social media platforms can moderate their services by removing obscene and violent posts.
Former President Trump recently filed suit against Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube for banning him after his followers stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, saying they were concerned he would use their platforms to incite further violence.
Is there evidence that social media platforms are "anti-conservative"? If so, what are some examples of this alleged bias?
If not, what sparked this narrative and why has it become so pervasive?
What are social media platforms' justifications for removing certain content or banning specific users? What are the potential political, social and constitutional implications?
How can platforms balance efforts to prevent the spread of misinformation and other unsafe content without provoking allegations that that they are infringing on users' rights?
- Monica Anderson, associate director of Internet and technology research at the Pew Research Center
- Paul Barrett, deputy director of the Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, adjunct professor of law at New York University and author of the report "False Accusation: The Unfounded Claim that Social Media Companies Censor Conservatives"
- Faiza Patel, co-director of the Brennan Center’s Liberty & National Security Program
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*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, July 20.