Although today's Big Tech companies, from Google and YouTube to Facebook and Twitter, steadfastly insist they don't discriminate against conservatives, an ever-enlarging mountain of cases demonstrates otherwise.
And as if hundreds of cases weren't proof enough, the courageous undercover researchers at Project Veritas videoed Twitter employees openly admitting that their company "shadow bans" conservatives. (Shadow banning essentially means a user can post a message to Twitter, but no one else sees it.)
Advertisement - story continues below
In February, Project Veritas also got a Facebook insider confirming on camera that the social media giant discriminates against conservatives through software manipulation, using "special features" to "de-boost" their traffic – especially near elections.
The following list is far from comprehensive, but comprises a representative sampling of conservatives and others who challenge establishment views banned, suspended, shadow-banned, suppressed, de-monetized or otherwise prevented from having their voice heard in today's all-important online public square:
- In August, the Apple News platform banned a pro-life news site that "didn't comply with guidelines," indicating the site's pro-life content "shows intolerance towards a specific group."
- In July, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, filed a federal lawsuit alleging Google infringed on her free speech when it shut down her campaign's advertising account for six hours after the Democratic presidential debate June 28.
- In June, Twitter essentially ordered the pro-life group Live Action to stop telling the truth about abortion online if it wanted to post ads on its accounts. Twitter told organization's founder and president, Lila Rose, that the ads could resume only if Live Action deleted from its Twitter account – and its own website – ultrasound images and anything about abortion procedures, as well as its devastating investigations of Planned Parenthood.
- Twitter agreed in May to a request by Al Jazeera's Arabic-language network to censor English translations of a video that questioned the reality of the Holocaust and charged that Jews exploited it "for their agenda," in essence protecting the Holocaust-denying video and its purveyors.
- Twitter suspended an account in May that was established to document violent attacks on supporters of President Trump.
- Twitter informed conservative journalist Michelle Malkin in May that her 2015 tweet of cartoons of Islam's prophet Muhammad violated Pakistan's notorious blasphemy laws.
- Radio host and blogger Erick Erickson was suspended from Twitter for joking about Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a 2020 presidential hopeful. He tweeted, “Elizabeth Warren set to introduce the Wrecking American Prosperity Under Marxism, or WAMPUM Act, wherein she gives away everything for free.”
- Facebook announced in May that it was banning "dangerous" members Milo Yiannopoulos, Alex Jones, and investigative reporters Laura Loomer and Paul Joseph Watson. A Muslim advocacy group applauded the ban, noting that the four are high-profile critics of radical Islam. Madihha Ahussain, special counsel for Muslim Advocates, thanked Facebook for taking a “positive step toward removing hate actors from the company’s platforms.”
- Also in May, Facebook urged some of its employees to investigate the background of black conservative commentator Candace Owens for grounds to remove her from its platform. Owens was listed in a “Policy Review” spreadsheet, created in April, identifying people Facebook calls “hate agents.” Facebook previously suspended Owens' account for seven days for a post showing the disparity between poverty rates among blacks and whites in the United States along with the absence of fathers in black homes.
- A documentary about the migration crisis in Europe went viral in May despite YouTube restricting it within 24 hours of its release, as Human Events reported. YouTuber and filmmaker Lauren Southern's #Borderless film centers on the crisis of “massive demographic changes” to Europe. She calls it a "fair, reasonable and balanced movie highlighting human trafficking and people smuggling on the ground in nine countries." It contains, she said, no "'hate speech,' no opinions, just raw footage from on the ground. And it was taken down."
- Columnist and veteran television reporter John Stossel said that in December Google informed him it would not allow his YouTube video "Socialism Leads to Violence" to be viewed by young people. The video violates “community guidelines,” said the company.
- In March, Amazon, Facebook and Google censored content challenging safety of vaccines. Facebook said it was taking its cue from organizations such as the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which decry "vaccine hoaxes" spread by opponents.
- Google's censors briefly shut down popular professor and free-speech activist Jordan Peterson’s Gmail and blocked his YouTube channel. The Canadian first came to prominence for his strong stand against his country's government-imposed speech codes with regard to gender pronouns.
- Google eliminated Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore, who now is a climate-change skeptic, from a search result listing co-founders of the environmental group. The move in March came after Moore made headlines criticizing the climate-change-driven policies of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, which drew praise from President Trump.
- In February, YouTube restricted access to a video posted by the conservative nonprofit PragerU, founded by columnist and author Dennis Prager. The video featured pro-life activist Lila Rose criticizing Planned Parenthood. PragerU already had filed a lawsuit against YouTube in October 2017, charging the social media site with using "vague, overbroad, and subjective criteria" to censor conservatives. Facebook also has censored Prager videos, including one titled “Make Men Masculine Again.”
- At a time when many still believed Jesse Smollett's claim that he was attacked by two white Trump supporters and a noose put around his neck, Facebook deleted two posts presenting evidence that his story was unraveling.
- In February, Twitter rejected an ad by a Christian radio station promoting an interview with conservative author Ryan T. Anderson, author of "When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment." Twitter claimed it contained "hateful content." A week later, Twitter changed its mind and allowed the ad to run.
- In January, Facebook censored paid ads by civil-rights activist and pro-life advocate Alveda King for a movie exposing the origins of the Roe v. Wade case. The niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called the decision "very discriminatory" and "another violation of religious freedom."
- Nationally syndicated talk-radio host Lars Larson – whose policy is to put disagreeing callers at the front of the line – received no explanation for why Twitter deemed "hateful" his criticism of the idea that the local police department should be eliminated and banned him from the platform.
- In December, Rev. Franklin Graham accepted a formal apology from Facebook after it blocked him for 24 hours. The offense? A two-year-old post in which Graham supported a state law in his home state of North Carolina requiring that biological men use men's facilities and women use women's facilities.
- Facebook censored an image of Santa Claus kneeling before the baby Jesus, deeming it "violent or graphic content." Last December's censorship was lifted after LifeSiteNews published a report about it. Facebook explains in its guidelines that it applies "a warning label to especially graphic or violent content so that it is not available to people under the age of eighteen and so that people are aware of the graphic or violent nature before they click to see it."
- In November 2018, Twitter locked Christian conservative activist Peter LaBarbera out of his account after he posted a message that said homosexual sodomy is a "sin." The head of the non-profit Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, he was dialoguing with a homosexual activist when he wrote: "Why don't U strive for lifetime abstinence? Sodomy is a sin & the homo'l variety especially spreads disease." Twitter responded with: "You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, disability, or serious disease." Facebook then unpublished his page after it banned several of his posts.
- Also in November 2018, Twitter permanently banned independent journalist Laura Loomer, following a tweet in which she criticized Congresswoman-Elect Ilhan Omar, accusing her of supporting Sharia law and female genital mutilation. Loomer, with more than 250,000 Twitter followers, said Twitter had permanently suspended her account because she had had violated the social media platform's rules against "hateful conduct." Then in February 2019, Loomer was banned from PayPal, largely destroying her ability to support herself. Announcing she planned to sue "the leftwing terrorists and tech tyrants who are trying to shut me down," Loomer wrote: "I have nothing to lose anymore, so trust me when I say I will stop at nothing to make sure justice is served for the way Silicon Valley has disenfranchised me, falsely accusing me of being a white supremacist, a Nazi, anti-Muslim, a racist, a bigot, and every other smear in the book."
- Iraq War veteran who lost both legs and a hand in combat believes Facebook had a political motive for shutting down a page for the Right Wing News site he manages and another that promotes his company, Military Grade Coffee, which donates 10 percent of its proceeds to wounded veterans. Brian Kolfage, who served in the U.S. Air Force, invested more than $300,000 in ads at Facebook's urging to increase his reach to 3.5 million fans. But his pages were among 559 pages and 251 accounts that were deleted in October 2018 by Facebook, which claimed the account holders were engaged in "coordinated inauthentic behavior." Kolfage argued, however, that from January – when his traffic began to dramatically decline due to Facebook's changes in its algorithm to combat "fake news" – until September, he was in regular email contact with a Facebook representative and was "really big on following the rules."
- In October 2018, Facebook rejected ads for the film "Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer," which spotlights the notorious abortionist convicted of multiple counts of first-degree murder for late-term and after-birth abortions.
- While the terms "illegal alien" and "criminal alien" are enshrined in federal law and U.S. Supreme Court opinions, Twitter rejected four tweets containing those words submitted by an immigration group for an ad campaign. Twitter deemed it "hateful" content.
- Twitter suspended a Canadian Coptic Christian woman in September for calling the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group. The Muslim Brotherhood is the parent organization of groups ranging from Hamas to Al-Qaida.
- Facebook flagged as "spam" a New York Post column that concluded Trump supporters are unlikely to care about the criminal convictions of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.
- In August, Facebook rejected an ad for a Republican congressional candidate that included images depicting her parents' persecution under the Khmer Rouge communist regime in Cambodia, deeming it too graphic. After publicity, Facebook later reversed its decision.
- Facebook banned a pro-life video ad by a Republican judicial candidate, explaining it violated the company's policy of not allowing "shocking, disrespectful or sensational content." It featured the story of the candidate's nephew, Albert, who faced a rare, life-threatening birth defect. Albert's mother noted in the video that parents with such a diagnosis during pregnancy often are given the option of termination. But she said Albert "was always our child and never a choice."
- In July 2018, Facebook censored the words "I'm Matt Caldwell. I like guns" in an ad for a candidate for Florida agriculture commissioner. But the social-media company retreated after the story started gaining attention.
- Twitter locked the account of WND columnist, author and Christian radio talk-host Michael Brown, who said his offense was he "told the truth about radical Islam" and "about the slaughter of Christians in Nigeria."
- In July 2018, Facebook flagged and removed a post consisting almost entirely of text from the Declaration of Independence. It seems the excerpt of the Declaration, which had been posted by a small community newspaper in Texas, "violated the social media site's policies against hate speech."
- Facebook prevented a Nashville-based country music group from using the social network's paid tools to promote its song, "I Stand for the Flag." The band said the video about the song was cited for "political content."
- Mohammad Tawhidi, who describes himself at the "imam of peace" for his criticism of Islamic terrorists, said in June that Facebook removed his page because he mocked the Palestinian Islamic supremacist group Hamas.
- In June 2018, Google listed “Nazism” as the ideology of the California Republican Party, blaming “vandalism” at Wikipedia for the search results. Immediately after apologizing for the California issue, Google again found itself in hot water when a top search result for a North Carolina Republican state senator yielded a photo labeling her a bigot.
- Google added words such as "gun-grips" and "scopes and sights" to its list of prohibited AdWords. The web giant's AdWords is an online service that allows advertisers to place search results for their websites on a search engine results page.
- Author and activist Pamela Geller was suspended from Facebook for 30 days for sharing a story accurately depicting German Muslims at an anti-Semitic rally holding "God bless Hitler" signs. Her published report referenced warnings from German rabbis about the rise of anti-Semitic violence.
- In May 2018, Canadian intelligence expert Tom Quiggin lost access to his Gmail and YouTube accounts due to a trailer he produced for a podcast that mentioned the issue of Islamic extremism.
- In Ireland in May 2018, during a crucial vote on whether to legalize abortion in the country, Google, Facebook and Twitter censored messages on the subject, meaning voters heard only the pro-abortion rhetoric of the establishment media. Irish voters voted to allow abortion.
- Popular web TV host, editor and commentator Jamie Glazov, the son of Russian dissidents who fought the "Evil Empire," was suspended by Facebook for 10 days for spotlighting a physical threat made against him by a Muslim.
- Facebook in April 2018 rejected an ad featuring an image of Jesus on a cross on Good Friday. After the ban was widely reported, Facebook reversed its decision and apologized. Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, which sought to promote an online degree program, said in a statement after the rejection, "This is what the monitors at Facebook consider excessively violent, sensational and shocking."
- Conservative street artist Sabo was suspended from Twitter with no explanation in April 2018.
- Twitter blocked a British pro-life activist with Down Syndrome for more than 24 hours after she posted pro-life pictures. After her account was restored, Charlotte Fien rebuked the company in a tweet: "Funny how Twitter allows paedophiles and other scum. Funny how Twitter doesn't like my Pro Life pics and blocks them."
- Twitter suspended both accounts of Owen Benjamin, a conservative actor and comedian. He's considered controversial by some for his belief that children should not be subjected to transgender hormone therapy. As a result of the ban, he said, his "ability to make an income has been revoked.”
- "Louder with Crowder" host Steven Crowder was banned from Twitter after tweeting out a link to a video in which a Crowder intern descended on an LGBTQ “Gender Noncomformity” meeting at the South by Southwest Festival and Conference in Austin, Texas, in March 2018.
- Twitter blocked Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s Senate campaign announcement ad because the lawmaker boasted she "stopped the sale of baby body parts." A Twitter representative told the candidate’s vendors the statement was "deemed an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction."
- In July 2017, West Virginia pastor Rich Penkoski, who oversaw the popular "Warriors for Christ" Facebook page, had his personal account suspended for posting a live video sermon criticizing the gay-rights "pride" rainbow.
- Facebook agreed to the Pakistani government’s demand that the company block what the Islamic republic considers “blasphemous” content, according to a report in April 2017 by the Pakistani newspaper Dawn. According to the country’s Interior Ministry, Facebook already removed 85 percent of it. Pakistan was said to be working with 27 other Muslim countries to make similar demands.
- Twitter suspended the account of conservative activist Grace Elizabeth Johnston, known as the "Activist Mommy," in February 2017 after she criticized a Teen Vogue editor who approved of publishing an article that encouraged youth to engage in anal sex.
- Facebook's ban of pro-Trump media personalities Diamond and Silk drew widespread outrage, leading to an apology from the company's head of Global Policy Management during a House Judiciary Committee hearing.
- Robert Spencer's Jihad Watch site formerly received 20,000 referrals a day from Facebook. But in February 2017, referrals suddenly dropped to 2,000 a day and the site has never recovered.
- Internal emails show Google employees sought to manipulate search results to combat President Trump's controversial travel ban by muting conservative viewpoints. Two days after Trump signed the ban on Jan. 27, 2017, Google employees suggested ways to "leverage search," or manipulate the algorithm, arguing "this country and Google, would not exist without immigration."
- Brian Fisher's pro-life group Human Coalition repeatedly has been blocked and stalled by
Twitter from promoting its message that pregnant women seeking an abortion have an alternative. And outrage expressed by abortion activists prompted Apple to remove Human Coalition’s pro-life prayer app from its app store without warning.
- The gospel song "What Would Heaven Look Like?” was censored by Facebook for "political content." However, the praise song merely envisions heaven as a place where "bigotry and hate are absent, only love and peace are present."
- Vimeo removed some 700 videos by David Kyle Foster of Christian testimonies of formerly sexually broken people, including ex-gays, calling the content "hateful" and "offensive."
- Author and philosopher Stefan Molyneux, whose video podcasts have 250 million views, was censored by YouTube, which said an interview with British journalist Katie Hopkins and a discussion on the "Death of White Males" were among the violators of "community guidelines."
- Nick Short of the Security Studies Group was one of thousands of conservative activists throttled by Twitter’s use of a “complex and opaque Quality Filter algorithm that has the effect of disproportionately restricting the voices of conservatives under the guise of limiting harmful or abusive users.”
- After releasing two videos exposing voter fraud by the left, Twitter shut down the account of James O'Keefe of Project Veritas in October 2016, just before the November presidential election.
- Search engine results in August 2016 – three months before the presidential election – indicated that Google, whose CEO supported Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, was suppressing negative search results about the Democratic party’s presidential nominee. When "Hillary Clinton’s he" was typed in, Google's first suggestions were "Hillary Clinton’s headquarters," "Hillary Clinton's health plan" and "Hillary Clinton’s healthcare plan." In search competitor Bing, however, the top results were “Hillary Clinton’s health," "Hillary Clinton’s health issues” and “Hillary Clinton’s health and weight." Yahoo turned up "Hillary Clinton’s health problems," Hillary Clinton’s health" and "Hillary Clinton’s health issues."
Advertisement - story continues below