A report released today by the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights concluded that anti-conservative bias claims are part of a disinformation narrative and not supported by concrete evidence.
“Claiming an anti-conservative animus is itself a form of disinformation: a lie with no reliable evidence to support it. No trustworthy large-scale studies have found that conservative content is removed for ideological reasons or that search queries are manipulated to advance liberal interests, ”the report said.
Many Republicans, spurred on by former President Donald Trump, have claimed that social media companies wrongly banned conservatives.
For example, in 2018 Trump claimed Twitter was "SHADOW BANNING prominent Republicans" in response to one News item The alleged Republicans' accounts showed up on a general search of the website but were not automatically filled in when their names were entered in the drop-down bar. Twitter later issued a response attributing the problem to a platform bug.
In addition, Trump called for Section 230 to be repealed of the Communications Act, which protects Internet providers and technology companies from liability for content published on their platforms.
Critics have noted that repeal would allow the now-former president to investigate his political opponents and anyone who spoke out against him.
Eliminating section 230 would also change the way we communicate on the Internet as we know it, according to free speech proponents. Without Section 230, tech companies would have to monitor the information on their platforms or abandon user-generated content altogether. Section 230's "Good Samaritan" protection enables the removal of obscene or offensive speech that is considered a Brookings Institution noticed: "provides the primary legal basis for today's content moderation regulations. "
The NYU report recommends that lawmakers update Section 230 rather than repealing it immediately.
“The controversial law should be amended so that its liability protection is tied to conditions based on social media companies assuming a number of new responsibilities related to content monitoring. One of the new platform commitments could be to ensure that algorithms involved in ranking and recommending content do not favor sensational or unreliable material for user engagement, ”the report said.
You can read the full report HERE.
Alan is a New York-based writer, editor, and news junkie.