After the 2016 elections, Google employees sought to prevent popular conservative news outlets from appearing in the engine’s search results, according to internal communications obtained by the Daily Caller.
The notion of blacklisting popular right-of-center outlets such as Breitbart and the Daily Caller was directly inspired by the victory of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. Speaking a mere day after the election on November 9th, Google engineer Scott Byer claimed that “this was an election of false equivalencies, and Google, sadly, had a hand in it.”
Byer would go on to describe the Daily Caller and Breitbart as “opinion blogs,” stating that they were worthy of less consideration within Google’s search algorithms on account of their content.
Other Google employees would go on to push back against Byer in the internal communications, pointing out that other news outlets such as MSNBC propagated supposedly false information. A Google spokeswoman would go on to deny that the post-election conversation led to any suppression of conservative news outlets within Google’s products.
If Google were to nuke conservative outlets from its search results, it could have a powerful effect on the dissemination of alternative media, funneling seekers of information almost exclusively to legacy dinosaur mainstream media platforms.
Another tech monolith, Facebook, adopted new algorithmic changes in 2017 that dramatically reduced the reach and spread of nearly all online news sources. While mainstream platforms were hurt by the changes, it appears that conservative media especially was hamstrung by the changes with digital reach far impeded from the heights reached during the 2016 election.
Google was forced to apologize in May after the search engine described the ideology of the California Republican Party as ‘Nazism.’
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Banished Journalist Laura Loomer’s $1.5 Billion Lawsuit Against Tech Giants Will Be Heard in Court
Loomer will have her day in court.
Banished journalist and Florida U.S. House candidate Laura Loomer’s lawsuit against Big Tech will be heard in the court of law following an order in the D.C. Circuit on Thursday.
Loomer is accusing tech giants such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Twitter of conspiring to suppress conservative voices on their platforms. The lawsuit is challenging these monolithic corporations for allegedly violating antitrust law as well as the 1st Amendment of the Constitution.
Her lawsuit had been previously tossed out by U.S. District Judge Trever N. McFadden, a Trump appointee to the bench, who stated that “while selective censorship of the kind alleged by the plaintiffs may be antithetical to the American tradition of freedom of speech, it is not actionable under the First Amendment unless perpetrated by a state actor.” However, Loomer was able to use a recent court ruling to resurrect her lawsuit despite the initial setback.
Loomer’s legal team, led by the right-wing political interest group Freedom Watch, used the precedent of Packingham v. North Carolina, a ruling which determined that it was unconstitutional to ban sex offenders from social media. The case essentially set the precedent that social media is a 1st Amendment right.
“Many of the principles set forth by the Supreme Court in Packingham lead to what appellants believe is the natural progression of the law to hold that social media companies are liable for First Amendment violations, given the progression of technology and its infiltration into the daily lives of nearly every single person,” Loomer’s team said in their final brief presented to the court.
Loomer points to Twitter banning her from the platform at the end of 2018 after she said that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) adheres to a religion in which “women are abused” and “forced to wear the hijab.” She was similarly banned from Instagram for her assertion that Islam is “a cancer on humanity,” and Facebook, which owns Instagram, quickly followed suit and banned her even though the offending post was not made on that platform.
Loomer still cannot get her accounts restored despite the fact that she is running for the U.S. House in Florida’s 21st Congressional District, which could be considered a form of electoral interference.
Through her legal fight against the tech giants, Loomer is forcing them to reveal that they are no longer neutral platforms:
The tech behemoth Facebook has admitted that it is a publisher while defending its arbitrary censorship of banished journalist Laura Loomer, according to court documents.
Facebook banned Loomer’s account from their platform during a purge of popular conservative voices that happened in May. Others targeted by the purge included Milo Yiannopoulos, Alex Jones and Paul Joseph Watson. Loomer is striking back with a lawsuit that is unearthing some interesting revelations about the social media monolith.
“Under well-established law, neither Facebook nor any other publisher can be liable for failing to publish someone else’s message,” Facebook’s attorneys wrote.
Facebook actually has the audacity to claim that their 1st Amendment rights are being violated by Loomer’s lawsuit, in a total contorting of reality. They have filed a motion to dismiss the case.
“She claims Facebook labeled her as a ‘dangerous’ person who promotes hate – yet, the First Amendment has long protected such statements because they are opinions that are not capable of being proven true or false,” Facebook’s attorneys claim in their dismissal motion.
Right now, Facebook is protected under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act from being held liable for the content published on their platform. This special exemption worked fine when the social network engaged in relative neutrality, but those days are no more as Big Tech is at war with conservative and pro-Trump voices.
Loomer hopes to have her ability to communicate fully restored and to make Big Tech pay for infringing on her basic rights.
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