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Brad Parscale, who was recently appointed as campaign manager for Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection bid, has warned Google, Facebook, and Twitter to maintain a “level playing field,” following a month of high-profile revelations of bias at big tech.
Brad Parscale’s comment came on the same day as the results of primaries for the Texas senatorial race in November were released. Google and Facebook both have the ability to significantly influence elections. Facebook has previously boosted voter registration and turnout by significant margins, while research on search engine manipulation shows that services like Google Search have the potential to change the preferences of undecided voters by 20 percent or more.Hey @facebook @Twitter @Google we are watching. 👀 This is your opportunity to make sure the playing field is level. #MAGA— Brad Parscale (@parscale) March 7, 2018
Brad Parscale, current campaign manager for the president’s 2020 re-election bid, previously managed Trump’s digital campaign in 2016. In public interviews, Parscale has argued that social media, not traditional media, was the key to Trump’s victory in 2016, and identified Facebook as particularly critical to the president’s success. His selection suggests that the digital campaigning will be given even greater emphasis in 2020.
Twitter, for example, was recently accused of decreasing the number of followers subscribed to conservative authors. The social network has in the past also purged users who are reported to have overstepped speech boundaries, under the guise of enforcing bullying and harassment guidelines.
At a House Intelligence Committee hearing last November, a Twitter exec admitted the company downgraded an Infowars article which had beat the algorithm and made it to the top of its trending section.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Facebook also shut down users who expressed support for Donald Trump, the military, the Second Amendment, strong borders and Christianity. Recently Facebook has taken their battle against conservative voices mainstream by targeting and flagging what “independent fact-checkers” deem “fake news.”
Google, likely the worst censorship offender, has in the past launched efforts to bury search results and block access to certain websites. Google News long ago censored Infowars from appearing in its feed, despite our website espousing libertarian, anti-war and pro-American political views.
Google subsidiary Youtube has also been heavily criticized for purging “right-wing” channels which they claim violate terms of service agreements. Even accounts with billions of views and millions of subscribers, which have been active for over a decade, such as The Alex Jones Channel, are not safe from overzealous censors.
Youtube workers admitted to censoring Infowars’ main Youtube channel last October during an undercover sting by Project Veritas, in which Brand and Diversity Curation Lead Earnest Pettie asserted Youtube regularly buries Alex Jones videos.
In recent weeks Youtube has undertaken an effort to ban Infowars’ main channel at the behest of cable network CNN, which flagged several videos for the company to review.
While President Trump has weighed in on breaking up monopolies like the one currently being built by tech giant Amazon, Parscale’s tweet is one of the administration’s first indications that social media networks are also being monitored.