Joe Rogan’s recent transition to the social media platform GETTR caught the attention of many netizens across the political spectrum, causing many to question the double standards of Big Tech companies like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.
The move, which followed Mr Rogan’s viral interview with mRNA technology inventor Dr Robert Malone on The Joe Rogan Experience, also brought around one million individuals to the social media platform.
Furthermore, US President Donald Trump’s new platform, Truth Social, is expected to launch on February 21, or “Presidents Day”.
“It seems like everyone should be happy: a space for you; a space for me. But the downside to all of this is that social media is on the cusp of growing more ideologically balkanized,” wrote conservative Carrie Sheffield from NBC.
“As division continues to be a problem in the country, we need to pay attention to how the actions of Twitter, YouTube and Facebook have played a role in deepening the divide.”
“I think when Joe Rogan joined Gettr, it represented the ‘Great Awakening,’ and it triggered almost a million people to open accounts in the week after his announcement,” GETTR Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jason Miller told Ms Sheffield in a statement, emailed to her by GETTR spokesman Kaelan Dorr.
“Rogan is not a right-winger, but is instead a guy who cuts through the prevailing narrative and calls it like he sees it. He is willing to allow competing ideas to be heard, which is what we provide on Gettr.”
“We welcome people from across the political spectrum, because true liberals should value free speech just as much as the most conservative person should,” Mr Miller’s statement continued.
“We want vigorous debate on our platform, not an echo chamber. That’s what Twitter has become, with the vast, vast majority of users adhering to leftist points of view.”
Rumble, the conservative alternative to YouTube launched in 2013, also has a growing user population, with 44 million monthly active users in August 2021. The platform will reportedly go public in the second quarter of 2022 and has a current valuation of 2.1 billion USD.
“As a conservative, I won’t condone offensive statements every conservative has made, but there’s strong evidence that Twitter, and other tech giants, have a blatant double standard for what it flags as offensive speech,” wrote Ms Sheffield.
“There’s strong evidence that Twitter, and other tech giants, have a blatant double standard for what it flags as offensive speech,” she continued.
“Our role is not to be bound by the First Amendment, but our role is to serve a healthy public conversation, and our moves are reflective of things that we believe lead to a healthier public conversation,” said Twitter’s new CEO Parag Agrawal, in November 2020.
Ms Sheffield noted that Mr Agrawal’s stance is potentially problematic because it isolates liberals from exposure to conservative ideas while angering conservative users.
Furthermore, an October 2020 Pew Research Center study discovered that only a small number of Twitter users post most tweets from US adults, with 69 per cent of these frequent users being liberal Democrats.
“While an internal Twitter study found bias in its algorithm for select conservative politicians and news outlets, even if something conservative goes viral on Twitter, it does not mean it is qualitatively presented in a favorable way. According to the Pew study, between November 11, 2019 and September 14, 2020, Trump was mentioned at least once by 13 per cent of Democratic Twitter users (compared to 12 per cent of Republicans). That’s a lot of hate tweets!” wrote Ms Sheffield.
Facebook labelled a video posted by veteran libertarian journalist John Stossel as misleading, claiming that he made certain assertions about forest fires and climate change. Mr Stossel sued the Big Tech giant for alleged defamation, saying he never made these claims.
“Ironically, Facebook’s response to Stossel’s lawsuit asserted it cannot be sued for defamation because its ‘fact checks’ are actually ‘protected opinion.’ Sounds Orwellian to claim facts are opinions, doesn’t it?” wrote Ms Sheffield.
“This is yet another example of the company’s fact-checkers having a left-leaning bias. When asked by CNN in 2020 if Facebook fact-checkers had a bias against conservatives, a spokesperson referenced the International Fact-Checking Network’s code of principles, which all of the platform’s fact-checkers have to sign. It states that fact-checkers must ‘not unduly concentrate its fact-checking on any one side.’ But many conservatives have long complained about the company’s fact-checking bias,” she added.
“Legacy Big Tech is at a crossroads: allow more balanced dialogue or risk losing market share to upstart conservative bootstrappers.”
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