This article was sponsored by “Death of a Nation.”
Dinesh D’Souza’s new film, “Death of a Nation,” opened this week. It’s a deft handling of the modern Democrats from Abraham Lincoln to Donald Trump, and how the latter president might be the perfect candidate to emulate the former.
All interesting stuff, but that wasn’t entirely what Larry Elder wanted to discuss at the premiere of the film. Instead, the radio legend talked to The Western Journal about the specter of Facebook censorship.
July wasn’t a particularly good month in the prickly relationship between social media and conservatives.
The Western Journal, Conservative Tribune’s parent publication, released a new study that revealed that while interactions for congressmen from both political parties were down sharply since the social media giant’s algorithm shift in the early months of 2018, Republicans had seen greater losses across the board. In a statement, Facebook said that they “updated News Feed to help people meaningfully connect with friends and family first” and that declines in public pages were part of this process.
It was also confirmed by Vice News that Twitter was “shadow banning” prominent conservatives like RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, the spokesman for Donald Trump Jr. and several Republican congressmen. (Democrats remain unsurprisingly unaffected.) Twitter blamed the issue on attempts to improve the quality of discussion on the platform and fixed the problem.
Meanwhile, controversial Infowars impresario Alex Jones was banned from Facebook and YouTube after relentless pressure from the media, prompting even Sen. Ted Cruz — who’s had a longstanding feud with the host for reasons this tweet will make patently obvious — to come to his defense:
Am no fan of Jones — among other things he has a habit of repeatedly slandering my Dad by falsely and absurdly accusing him of killing JFK — but who the hell made Facebook the arbiter of political speech? Free speech includes views you disagree with. #1A https://t.co/RC5v4SHaiI
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 28, 2018
Against this background, Elder took on Facebook and their ideological bias during a red carpet interview with The Western Journal’s own reporter.
“It’s pretty obvious that they have been discriminating against conservatives,” Elder said. “Because all of a sudden, when conservatives started bitching, moaning and whining, they changed their algorithms.
“And, all of a sudden, the very people that were complaining about Facebook stopped complaining about it. Same thing with Twitter.
“It’s a problem,” Elder continued. “We are outnumbered. We are right about the facts, about the truth, but we’re outnumbered in terms of people. Tell people the truth and — in my opinion — they will ultimately come to your point of view.”
And, there’s the rub: This assumes that conservatives can get their point of view out.
Take Twitter’s recent shadow banning faux pas, for instance. What we know about is prominent conservatives who were caught up in it. But what about less-visible conservatives on the platform. Are they facing the same treatment? In this case, the shadow banning took the form of search results in the drop-down menu. Can anyone reasonably be expected to check every conservative of some visibility on the platform in this manner?
With Facebook — where hard numbers indicating some form of ideological bias are magically attributed to that ethereal (yet totally unbiased) construct known as “the algorithm” by the platform’s defenders — finding evidence is even more murky.
This is why having our own media platforms is important to conservatives. Talk radio was the first counterbalance to ideological bias in the media. Then came the internet and sites like Drudge Report. Now, there are podcasts, YouTube and social media. With all of these platforms comes an inherent risk, however, thanks to the fact that the companies running the game are ideologically biased.
This is why films like “Death of a Nation” are so important, as well. In the milieu of Hollywood — where liberal ideas are given free reign to run around and conservative ideas are marginalized — it’s important to get a foothold independently instead of imploring the major studios to be less contemptuous of half of America. That’s not going to work. We’re going to have to do it for ourselves.
For tickets and showtimes for “Death of a Nation,” click here.
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