The despicable targeting and censoring of conservative voices reached an unprecedented low this week after Instagram apparently targeted President Donald Trump’s own son.
In an astonishing video posted Friday, Donald Trump Jr. showed how, whenever he searched for his own name on Instagram, he received a warning message claiming that posts that contain his full name as a hashtag “encourage” harmful behavior.
“Posts with words or tags you’re searching for often encourage behavior that can cause harm and even lead to death. If you’re going through something difficult, we’d like to help,” the warning message read every time Trump Jr. tried to search for his name.
“Are you fricken kidding me? [Mark Zuckerberg] this is insane. I get that my 3-year-old Chloe can be pretty aggressive as are a few of my humorous memes, but this is ridiculous,” the president’s son wrote as a caption to his video.
He mentioned Zuckerberg because Instagram is owned by Facebook, which too has its own sordid history of censoring opposing viewpoints.
“If this account ‘could cause harm and even lead to death’ we have serious problems. The #shadowban nonsense and the hysteria RE any conservative thought has to stop. #enough #mastersoftheuniverse #censorship,” he added.
Shadow banning is a clever ploy used by social media networks to ban users. It allows banned users to continue posting, but it prevents other people from seeing their posts.
While Trump Jr.’s discovery is appalling, it’s not surprising. The targeting and censorship of conservative voices on social media has been occurring for over a year now. It’s grown so bad that even Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, have taken note.
During an appearance Friday on “Fox & Friends,” the duo revealed that they’ve submitted a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey warning them of the “consequences” their censoring of conservative voices pose “to our democratic society.”
“We want to ask them for transparency, I think the public deserves that transparency and we need to know that conservative voices have the chance to get their message out. This is a big problem,” Parscale said.
“We need to make sure that conservative ideas and principles are allowed on these social-media platforms and there’s not a thought police coming from Silicon Valley,” McDaniel added.
We won’t tolerate bias toward conservatives or @realDonaldTrump supporters. We’re standing up for you and demanding answers. @GOPChairwoman and I have sent the following letter to @facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and @Twitter’s @jack Dorsey. #StopTheBias pic.twitter.com/Poz0Dne9i7
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) May 24, 2018
The letter submitted by McDaniel and Parscale cited conservative commentators Diamond and Silk as just one example of conservative voices being silenced. First the sisters experienced a drop in engagement on their Facebook page. Later Facebook deemed their video content to be “unsafe” to the Facebook community.
While the video debacle was eventually resolved, their traffic — as well as the traffic of countless other conservatives on Facebook, including BizPacReview — has yet to recover.
Whether McDaniel and Parscale’s letter will put an end to this insanity remains unknown, though the chances admittedly seem low. Even after Texas Sen. Ted Cruz ruthlessly confronted Zuckerberg on the Senate floor last month, the social media network continued silencing conservative voices.
It seems like it’s going to take a lot to persuade Zuckerberg and his peers in the tech industry to change their ways. The good news is that you can do you part by signing a petition launched this week by Parscale. It may not seem like much, but combined with everybody else’s efforts — including those of Diamond and Silk and, of course, Trump Jr. — it could just be enough.