Twitter, Youtube Both Try To Silence Free Speech With Censorship Moves

(PoliticalLookout.com)- The fight over censorship on social media lifted to new heights Wednesday when President Donald Trump threatened to “strongly regulate” and possibly shut down social media platforms that continue to censor conservative speech.
That came after Twitter this week decided to apply a new fact-check label to two of the president’s tweets. The company recently rolled out the fact-check label to combat what it calls misinformation and unverified claims.
One of those labels was applied to Trump’s tweet that read:
“We can’t let large scale Mail-In-Ballots take root in our Country. It would be a free for all on cheating, forgery and the theft of Ballots. Whoever cheated the most would win. Likewise, Social Media. Clean up your act, NOW!!!!”
Twitter’s label also linked to a page that was curated with other links to and summaries of various articles that describe how the mail-in-ballot thoughts from Trump are unfounded.
Once the labels were applied, Trump said Twitter “is interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election,” and “stifling FREE SPEECH,” adding he “will not allow it to happen!”
On Wednesday, he tweeted:
“Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservative voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen.”
This isn’t the first time Trump and other conservatives have questioned the censorship policies of social media platforms. Some of this criticism has been directed toward the platforms taking manual actions against certain messages, while some have gone toward algorithms the platforms use to automatically remove content.
This week, in fact, YouTube caught flack for automatically removing comments that contained two Chinese terms that criticized the communist government. The terms that were censored were Chinese letters that meant “communist bandit” and “fifty-cent party,” a derogatory term people use to refer to Chinese people who are paid 50 cents for every internet post they remove.
YouTube officials confirmed this week that its algorithm was automatically deleting any comments that contained either of those two terms — without any review by people who might be able to put the comments in perspective. A spokesman for the company blamed “an error in our enforcement mechanism.”
But plenty of conservatives have questioned whether YouTube and its parent company Google is really just trying to silence any voice that’s critical of the Chinese government.
That’s what Robert Spalding, a retired Air Force general who is the senior fellow at the Hudson Institute believes. He said:
“The desire of the corporate sectors of U.S. and democratic countries to have access in Chinese market has [resulted in] the slow erosion of their independence. It’s led to more of a co-optation by the Chinese Communist Party, whether it be AI research facilities in Beijing or censorship on their platforms.”
While the focus on censorship on social media channels has been intense for a while now, it’s only expected to pick up as the November General Election draws closer. All eyes will be on these social media platforms to see how they respond to people’s Constitutionally-protected right to free speech.