Winter is coming, but Big Tech censorship is not going into hibernation. This past month of October, Big Tech giants continued their anti-free speech efforts.
Big Tech continued its anti-free speech activities in October, and MRC Free Speech America tracked this censorship on its unique CensorTrack.org database. Hamas terrorists launched a horrific attack on Israel this month, and Meta and YouTube targeted accounts exposing Hamas’s atrocities.
Continuing to interfere in the upcoming 2024 election, Big Tech also targeted President Joe Biden’s opponents with censorship — again. In another instance, Elon Musk’s X (formerly Twitter) added a demonetization feature to its Community Notes fact-check program. And Instagram fact-checked a post exposing the U.S. southern border crisis.
Nearly everyone is at risk of having his speech attacked. The month of October was no exception. Here are the top five worst examples of censorship from last month.
1) Meta’s Facebook and Instagram target pro-Israel posts exposing Hamas’s atrocities. Facebook fact-checked presidential candidate Larry Elder (who has since dropped from the race) for posting the report that Hamas killed 40 babies, including through beheading. Facebook called the information “partly false,” claiming there was “no evidence” of the babies being beheaded. The Israeli government has since confirmed that Hamas beheaded at least one baby, posting videos of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officer who found the beheaded baby’s corpse.
Actor Nate Buzolic also said on Fox News that Instagram shut down his account no fewer than three different times for posting about Hamas atrocities in Israel and Gaza. “I actually just showed the real-time footage that has been shared around social media,” Buzolic said. “And I think what this really presents is a clear and coordinated effort of groups to shut down content and accounts like myself who have been exposing the atrocities of what Hamas has done.”
2) YouTube admits mistake over censoring video of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Hamas’s atrocities. Florida’s Voice posted a clip from Fox News featuring Rubio on its YouTube page. While discussing the terrorist group Hamas in the clip, Rubio said, “these guys are ideological psychopaths, and they’re savages. And they would if they could – not just kill every Jew they can get their hands on – they would kill Americans in the process.” According to a post on its X account, the outlet received a message from YouTube stating that the video had been removed for violating its “hate speech policy.”
Rubio later ripped the Google-owned video platform apart for the absurd censorship: “Apparently @YouTube @Google has decided that calling Hamas terrorists who burned babies & raped girls ‘savages’ is dehumanizing ‘hate speech’.” Following a request for clarification from an MRC Free Speech America researcher, YouTube admitted in an email that, “Upon review, we determined the video in question is not violative of our Community Guidelines and have reinstated it.” YouTube then tried to duck responsibility by asserting, “this reuploaded version was removed by mistake.” The video is again available on YouTube.
3) Big Tech continues to interfere in the 2024 election by censoring Biden’s opponents. Social media platforms used censorship to interfere in the 2020 and 2022 elections by censoring the infamous “laptop from hell” and burying Republican campaign websites in search results respectively. But the Big Tech giants persist in suppressing the free speech of presidential candidates running against Democrat front-runner Biden, whose government, according to allegations made in the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case Missouri v. Biden and other evidence, colluded with Big Tech to censor Americans’ speech. For instance, Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley and Democrat presidential candidate Cornel West both received sensitive content filters. X plastered one on a post from Haley and TikTok slapped one on a post from West. Haley posted to her official X account a campaign ad with content about Hamas’s atrocities and a comment, “Finish them.” Such filters do not allow users on the mobile app who have the sensitive filter enabled on their profile, the default setting, to view the filtered content at all. West’s video slammed Israel for bombarding the terrorist-controlled Gaza Strip, where Hamas uses civilians as human shields.
X also censored several candidates with Community Notes, X’s crowd-sourced fact checks, and also through suspension. Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and GOP presidential candidates Chris Christie and Vivek Ramaswamy were fact-checked by Community Notes. Meanwhile, X suspended Democrat presidential candidate Dean Phillips’s campaign account the day it launched. X also censored GOP candidate Tim Scott through reduced distribution. The account Donald J. Trump Posts From His Truth Social also received a Community Note for sharing Trump’s post of a petition for GOP presidential candidate Gov. Ron DeSantis to drop out of the race.
4) CensorTrack.org tops 6,000: Instagram slapped a fact check and filter on a post about the border crisis. Atlas Society, which promotes the late author Ayn Rand’s philosophy of objectivism, posted a video meme on Instagram with the comment, “The Biden Administration securing the Southern Border.” The video showed what appears to be a group of security people standing on a sports field in line using their arms to block some people from entering while other people walk right through the line. Instagram placed an interstitial over the post, alleging it was “False Information.” The Meta-owned platform asserted that “The same false information was reviewed in another post by fact-checkers. … Independent fact-checkers say this information has no basis in fact.”
Instagram linked to a PolitiFact fact-check article headlined: “US southern border ‘completely open’? That’s False.” The platform did admit that “There may be small differences” between the fact check and the post being censored, but there were more than “small differences” in this case. In fact, the original fact check specifically addressed claims that the U.S.-Mexico border was open during the 2021 Omicron variant outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. This fact check was therefore entirely irrelevant and inapplicable to the video and post from Atlas Society. According to Facebook, Instagram’s sister site, users fail to click through interstitials 95 percent of the time.
5) X (Twitter) adds demonetization to any posts censored with Community Notes. X owner Elon Musk announced on Oct. 29: “Making a slight change to creator monetization: Any posts that are corrected by @CommunityNotes become ineligible for revenue share. The idea is to maximize the incentive for accuracy over sensationalism.” While Community Notes can at times add helpful information to posts that are inaccurate, Community Note fact checks have also asserted inaccurate or incomplete information. In addition to the initial censorship that Community Notes created, Musk’s latest announcement adds a new form of financial censorship on X.
Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the CensorTrack contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.