This is a popular complaint by people on the right wing and it is something that has resulted into Congressional hearings with the Google CEO and Facebook CEO testifying, the Twitter CEO having a meeting with the President and YouTube receiving backlash.
The idea that conservative accounts are being “shadow-banned”, their content not being published normally for all to see, that they are getting punished for no reason. How much truth is in that cannot be quantified and I firmly believe this is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy where any time action is taken against an account, it must be some nefarious reason against Free Speech, rather than the account holder violating Terms and Conditions. A good example is uploading videos with copyrighted music. The person is not having the video taken down to suppress it. He or she can easily re-upload it once the music is removed.
I’m aware Silicon Valley employees are more liberal minded. But perhaps it’s not because employers are deliberately weeding out conservatives, rather than applicants subconsciously side more on the left than the right. People may not be overtly political but the environment you are in shapes a lot of your views. I’m not saying conservative minded people do not work in Silicon Valley at all but given the environment and that a lot of foreign nationals work there it is likely they are personally against policies that target people like them. The battle over the H1B Visa for example.
What they are personally against should not intefere in company policy of course. And given much of the Trump/Brexit/Nationalism rise has been aided through social media people on the left feel the companies have failed in curtailing fake news and bots manipulating and spreading disinformation. So really both sides are not pleased with the companies, but only one is practically calling it out for bias. This has reached the Oval Office.
If there really is evidence of bias then what happens. There are complaints saying they are deplatformed by Apple and Google to not appear on Play Store. So what do they want - to break up or regulate the big tech companies? Does the Free Market principle not count?
The huge tech companies are clearly biased and when they approach a certain level of market share it’s almost as if they are monopolies. So some regulations should apply. Especially when governments force much much smaller businesses to create custom content.
So let me understand this. Lying right-wing broadcasters like Fox News who broadcast falsehoods and opinion pieces in the guise of “news” should not be regulated because Free Speech. Net neutrality is a Bad Thing and the internet should not be regulated to ensure fair and equal access. Campaign spending should not be regulated because Free Speech. But social media – the one communications space in existence where right-wing money can’t buy dominant influence – should have the living daylights regulated out of it! Do I have that about right?
As for whether tech companies are biased, maybe they’re biased against rule-breaking and dangerously malicious disinformation that threatens democracy.
No, tech companies are not being biased against conservatives. Conservatives, including actual congressmen, are making up a Twitter campaign against them based on not understanding how Twitter works. Meanwhile people are being banned for saying “F*ck your hatred!” and the nazi account they replied to remains.
It’s simply a mix of cherry picking incidents in a world of imperfect moderation, “conservatives” having a lot of concern for, and including under the label “conservative” outright nazis, and extremist organizations that aren’t right wing knowing they would be on a permanent watch list if they tried to start their own “gab”.
Tech companies are slowly, incrementally beginning to show zero-tolerance for racism, white supremacy, and hate speech. Hate groups and white power groups almost universally identify as conservatives and/or Trump supporters, so yes, these policies will affect conservatives more than anyone else.
It’s pretty nuts to hear conservatives say “but but banning racists affects meeeeee…” like… do you understand what you’re admitting here?
Regarding shadowbanning, we have to conclude that anyone complaining about it is either ignorant or dishonest, because shadowbanning is easy to check in incognito mode. Shadowbanning is just an excuse for when your post gets less attention than you felt it was entitled to.
So in conservative world, regulations are bad and should be eliminated except when a private business offering a free service does not support conservative viewpoints. Those are some nice bendy situational ethics you got there.
Based on a career working in tech companies, I can tell you that they are a lot more diverse than many companies. (Not so good wrt women, though.) They are also full of immigrants. This workforce makes them a bit more sensitive to hate speech than maybe white male dominated places are.
The push to enforce their rules is partially due to this and partially due to the rising tide of bigoted filth in social media. Purveyors of filth clearly object.
I think generally Bay Area companies are left leaning, because most people in the Bay Area are left leaning. The area leans heavily left, it isn’t surprising that the local employee base these companies draw from have similar leanings. I don’t if this translates into specific company actions.
Tech companies are obviously biased against conservatives but as private companies that is their right. Their problem is the same as the mainstream media, if you are obviously biased then you hurt your credibility more than you actually hurt the people you are trying to hurt. Once a company has squandered their credibility there is no way to get it back. The history of tech is littered with companies who thought they were unassailable and then faded away. Google, twitter, and facebook are not going to be powerful forever.
How do you wave a stick (the right is big on this, which is not necc. a criticism) against another group? One great way is to antagonize, exaggerate, even say hurtful things, which may include veering close to / into hate speech. IOW a central technique to warding off what are seen as objectionable actions by another group is deliberately goad, hurt feelings, leave a strong impression that “we mean business”. What do those same techniques tend to run afoul of? Online content guidelines. So does that make a platform in this context “unfairly biased against conservatives”? Not neccessarily; causation/correlation.
If they weren’t biased, you would be seeing a lot more articles about how great conservatives are and all the great things they are doing. Because we aren’t seeing all those articles, that means the companies are biased. There is no other possible reason those stories are not appearing.
Tech companies sure do give a lot of money to the Republican Party. I don’t know how you can look at the policies and candidates that they support and still believe this nonsense that they are biased against conservatives.
I don’t think there’s much more to it than that tech companies are generally comprised of young urban people, who by their very demographic nature tend to trend liberal. Also, the media/entertainment/social-media field tends to draw liberal people. That’s really it in a nutshell.
You might as well ask why the military, or rural farming community, trends conservative.
That’s what in a nutshell? What on earth are you trying to say here?
Young urban people who work for high-tech companies tend to be well-educated and generally well-informed. If being educated and informed tends to make people liberal, that’s a pretty sad statement about what tends to make people conservative. Is that really what you meant to imply?
Secondly, the thread is not about the demographics of tech company employees, but about whether the company policies are actually biased. Making such a determination requires evidence, and I have yet to see any.
Except that these companies, like most companies, aren’t run by majority rule of the worker bees. They serve customers, they have boards of seasoned executives, and they answer to investors.
Facebook, Twitter, etc are advertising platforms. Advertisers don’t want to spend money advertising on unpopular platforms or to be associated with unpopular content. So if they’re truly biased against conservatives… connect the dots. Conservativism isn’t popular among consumers who matter in an economic sense.