Censorship Is A Bad Thing

Gov. Ron DeSantis has had no patience for absurdity in an avalanche of it since 2020. One of the latest appalling absurdities that lit the short fuse on the Florida governor was a report from the Heritage Foundation, out this month on Twitter, about some damning patterns in the enforcement of content policies on major social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Like, *double standard* patterns.

As the Heritage Foundation’s Kara Frederick reported, “Twitter and Facebook censor Republican members of Congress at a rate of 53 to 1 compared to Democrats.”

Frederick also reported: “Twitter suspends conservatives 21 times more often than liberals.”

21 times more! 53 to 1!

That isn’t even trying to keep up the appearances of being a fair and neutral platform while putting a light finger on the scale here and there, where it still wasn’t enough to pick up the slack from Hillary’s campaign in 2016.

Try an experiment with your friends on social media sometimes.

Ask them without sharing the link or info: What percent of censored Twitter and Facebook posts made by members of Congress do you think are Democrats, and what percent are Republicans?

I’m no mathematician, but the Google search bar tells me 100 percent divided by 54 makes just 1.85% of censored posts by members of Congress. They are of the stubborn type, while a staggering 98.15% of delegates’ posts censored by (NASDAQ: FB) and (NYSE: TWTR) were made by members of the kind that never forgets.

What would you have guessed? For members of Congress, not just accounts that are somehow reasonably identifiable as “progressive” and “conservative,” I would have thought like a 40% to 60% split, which would be evidence enough of partisan partiality on the part of these platforms.

But with such skewed censorship data, it looks like they are letting Democrats say whatever they want while splitting every last hair to find a reason to silence Republicans.

Unless it’s pretty clear that Republican delegates violate the platforms’ policies that much more than Democrats (a challenging claim to believe), that’s beyond unfair. That’s the umpire fixing the game.

While DeSantis has taken the hardball approach and signed Florida legislation that opens big tech platforms up to lawsuits in the Sunshine State, a diplomatic approach may be better because Silicon Valley incumbents have unlimited cash for litigation, but startups (maybe one that would eventually satisfy conservatives that it’s fair if it got off the ground) could end up as collateral damage in future suits because of these laws.

They could go under before they got a chance to make it as far as Facebook and Twitter have because they don’t have the cash as a startup to fight lawsuits springing from statutes aimed at established tech giants.

In a diplomatic pressure campaign from organized conservative political players, the question to ask would be: What’s in it for you? What do users and shareholders get out of this apparent partisan bias?