Anti-Trump activists persuaded Big Tech to censor pre-election conservative ‘disinformation,’ Time Magazine reports

By Guy Page

A shadow, progressive-led campaign to defeat the re-election of Donald Trump persuaded Big Tech to suppress conservative “disinformation.” This news was first reported, Feb. 4 with hearty approval and insider detail, by staunchly liberal Time Magazine.

It seems the idea for 2020 electoral social media censorship began when anti-Trump activists persuaded Big Tech that when liberal American social media users argue with SM ‘disinformation,’ it empowers the ‘wrong’ messaging. It just gets more clicks! Solution? Don’t argue, suppress instead. Here’s how they persuaded Big Tech to suppress conservative speech, according to Time:

The most important takeaway from Quinn’s research, however, was that engaging with toxic content only made it worse. “When you get attacked, the instinct is to push back, call it out, say, ‘This isn’t true,’” Quinn says. “But the more engagement something gets, the more the platforms boost it. The algorithm reads that as, ‘Oh, this is popular; people want more of it.’”

The solution, she concluded, was to pressure platforms to enforce their rules, both by removing content or accounts that spread disinformation and by more aggressively policing it in the first place. “The platforms have policies against certain types of malign behavior, but they haven’t been enforcing them,” she says.

So Big Tech titans had to be convinced “to take a harder line.” To that end, meetings with influential activists were arranged. Time reports:

Quinn’s research gave ammunition to advocates pushing social media platforms to take a harder line. In November 2019, Mark Zuckerberg invited nine civil rights leaders to dinner at his home, where they warned him about the danger of the election-related falsehoods that were already spreading unchecked. “It took pushing, urging, conversations, brainstorming, all of that to get to a place where we ended up with more rigorous rules and enforcement,” says Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, who attended the dinner and also met with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and others. (Gupta has been nominated for Associate Attorney General by President Biden.)

This national story has a Vermont angle. Numerous conservatives reported being bumped off Facebook a week or two before the election. At least one of them — Art Peterson of Clarendon — was a Republican candidate for the Legislature. He won, but no thanks to Facebook. The blackout on his account deprived him of an important contact with voters during a low-personal-contact campaign due to pandemic restrictions.

There’s plenty more ‘we did it!’ high-fiving and glory-hogging in this Time Magazine article. It’s recommended reading to understand how — and why — progressives worked so hard to defeat Trump. In particular, there’s a fascinating account of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO, and the National Association of Evangelicals working together to prevent post-election street violence. (There’s a Vermont angle here, too. As reported by Vermont Daily, the Vermont AFL-CIO publicly announced its willingness to take to the streets en masse in the event of a Trump power grab.)

And Time frankly admits one of the goals of the organizations leading street protests that wracked the nation following the death of George Floyd was the defeat of President Trump. Again, the Vermont angle: the Democrat-controlled Vermont Legislature made sure its June 19, 2020 “Juneteenth” Resolution condemning historic racism also condemned Trump as well.

If Mike Lindell’s claims of Election Night intervention by the Chinese government are substantiated, the foiled re-election of Donald Trump will be the biggest news story of the 21st century, rivaled only by 9/11. Like the attack on the World Trade Center, the repercussions will buffet the nation and the world for years to come.

But even if Lindell is eventually proven wrong, the left’s aggressive tactics — threatening street action and suppressing social media being just the tip of the iceberg — have upped the ante for future presidential campaigns. Constitutional conservatives can neither pretend none of this happened, nor surrender to cynicism. As Time points out, “studies have shown that when people don’t think their vote will count or fear casting it will be a hassle, they’re far less likely to participate.”

If conservatives don’t participate — constructive, peacefully, starting yesterday, without expecting any help from the government in power or the mainstream media — 2020’s aggressive campaign tactics will have been proven successful. Alas, then, for our freedoms.

Read more of Guy Page’s reports. Vermont Daily is sponsored by True North Media.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Public domain