NYU study, paid for by billionaire Biden-backer, claims conservative censorship on social media isn't real
Researchers at New York University published a report claiming there is no evidence of bias against conservative social media users, and characterizing claims to the contrary as “political disinformation.”
Ironiclaly, the study was funded by a billionaire tech entrepreur.
The researchers further suggested that the Biden administration create a new Digital Regulatory Agency.
Conservative students and activists have been banned from multiple social media platforms over the past few years, but according to a New York University study, the reasoning is not because Big Tech companies hold a liberal bias.
The report, “False Accusation, The Unfounded Claim that Social Media Companies Censor Conservatives," authored by Paul Barrett and Grant Sims states that “the false bias narrative is an example of political disinformation, meaning an untrue assertion that is spread to deceive.”
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The report from NYU’s Center for Business and Human Rights states that Twitter, Instagram and Facebook banning former President Donald Trump may have been "unprecedented" but justified it as a "reasonable" response to his alleged violation of Twitter rules.
"Take Trump’s exclusion from Twitter and Facebook. These actions, while unprecedented, were reasonable responses to Trump’s repeated violation of platform rules against undermining election results and inciting violence," the report states.
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Dan Gainor, Vice President of Business and Culture for the Media Research Center told Campus Reform that the study's claim is "ridiculous."
"It's the same claim the left has made for years that there's no media bias. Any rational person who saw Facebook and Twitter restrict the New York Post story about Hunter Biden realizes Big Tech is out of control," Gainor added.
The report also stated that Twitter and Facebook took action on the posts of a "questionable story" about Hunter Biden, which was published by the New York Post.
"Several months later, as the Trump versus-Biden contest neared its bitter conclusion, Twitter and Facebook both took action against posts of a questionable story about the Biden family published by the New York Post," the report states. "The article, apparently based on stolen emails, suggested that in 2015, Hunter Biden arranged for a meeting between his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, and an executive with a Ukrainian energy company. The Biden camp denied that any such meeting occurred. Facebook reduced distribution of the Post story; Twitter blocked it from being shared at all."
The NYU report called the "Post/Biden imbroglio" a case of "reasonable decisions wrapped in mystifying processes.
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However, the report did admit that the controversy surrounding Twitter's actions against the New York Post could have been avoided by "Consistency" and "clearer rules."
The NYU study was funded by Craig Newmark, a billionaire tech giant who is the founder of Craigslist. Newmark gave $100,000 to a committee affiliated with then-presidential candidate Joe Biden's campaign, and $35,500 to the Democratic National Committee in June, according to Federal Election Commission records.
“Conservatives do get suspended or banned for violating Twitter’s rules against such things as harassment, hateful conduct, or, as in Trump’s case, glorifying violence. But liberals are excluded in this fashion, as well,” the report states.
However, after claiming there is no evidence for bias against conservatives on social media, the authors of the study then admit that “pinning down precise proportions is impossible because Twitter doesn’t release sufficient data.”
Barrett, one of the authors of the study, also published a report in September that “outlines steps the social media companies should take to counter the coming wave of disinformation [about the 2020 election].”
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Following events at the Capitol on January 6, Twitter purged multiple conservative accounts and thousands of their followers.
“Twitter sometimes makes mistakes,” admitted the NYU report. “In October 2020, the company suspended the account of Mark Morgan, then-acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, for violating the company’s hate speech policy by tweeting that “every mile [of the border wall] helps us stop gang members, murderers, sexual predators, and drugs from entering our country.”
The report said that while Twitter reinstated Morgan, it did not give an explanation on the suspension.
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“The study relied on liberal assumptions about what content is legitimate and what actions should be taken,” Gainor told Campus Reform. He also explained that the research “was based on other biased work that considers conservative sites, including some belonging to the Media Research Center, as either “manipulators” or “junk news."
"No one should respect the conclusions of such a left-wing effort," he said.
The authors of the report concluded by writing that Twitter should be more transparent about its enforcement of the rules.
“Twitter’s disclosure of a complete enforcement database would go a long way toward allowing outsiders to assess the company’s actions. In the absence of such data, the available evidence does not support the claim that Twitter systematically disfavors conservative users and ideas," the report states.
Finally, the study offered several recommendations to the Biden administration, including the creation of a "Digital Regulatory Agency."
"The false claim of anti-conservative bias has contributed to widespread distrust in the platforms’ willingness and ability to govern their sites. A new independent body, charged with enforcing the responsibilities of a revised Section 230, could begin to rebuild that trust," the study stated. "As an alternative, expanded jurisdiction and funding for social media oversight could be given to an existing agency, such as the Federal Trade Commission or Federal Communications Commission. Whatever its structure, the new regulatory body wouldn’t have the authority to intervene in content decisions—a limitation necessitated by the First Amendment."
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @abbyystreetman