Liz Crokin has published an in-depth look at the double standards and political biases of the web’s top social media companies in Observer.
The column covers some of the most prominent free speech controversies on the web over the last year, from the suspension of Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos from Twitter, to the removal of anti-Clinton games from Apple’s online store.
If you take an interest in free speech on the web, it’s well worth a read. You can access the full column here.
Over the past year, Apple twice refused to publish a satirical Clinton Emailgate game, “Capitol HillAwry,” claiming it was “offensive” and “mean spirited” even though the game’s developer, John Matze, cited in communications with Apple that the game fits the standards of Apple’s own satire policy. Apple has, however, approved dozens of games poking fun at Donald Trump—including a game called “Dump Trump,” which depicts the GOP nominee as a giant turd.
On July 25, Breitbart exposed this blatant double standard and favoritism toward Clinton. A few days after the article was released, Apple caved and published Capitol HillAwry, 15 months after Matze’s first attempt to go live.
While it’s commendable that Apple resolved both situations, Trump supporters and conservative users should never have faced such biased treatment in the first place.
Around the same time I was a guest on MAGAPod, a friend complained to me about how biased his Apple News feed is against Trump. I set up an Apple News account on my iPhone.
Twitter is another culprit. The company has gotten a lot of slack for banning conservatives and Trump supporters such as Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos and, most recently, rapper Azealia Banks after she came out in support of Trump. Twitter has provided vague answers as to why conservative voices have been banned while they’ve allowed other users to call for the killing of cops.
Just yesterday, Buzzfeed revealed that the social media giant’s top executive personally protected the President from seeing critical messages last year. “In 2015, then-Twitter CEO Dick Costolo secretly ordered employees to filter out abusive and hateful replies to President Barack Obama.”
This year, Twitter isn’t just banning conservatives—the platform also changed its algorithms to promote Clinton while giving negative exposure to Trump.