The giant Big Tech companies, in particular, Twitter and Facebook, are becoming the greatest threats to the freedom of speech because they have been deliberately censored and silenced conservative voices. They have manipulated their algorithmic amplifications and established propaganda campaigns in order to influence or control their users. These social media platforms place malicious restriction and intimidated enforcement on people’s accounts when users’ comments contain their undisclosed list of banned keywords. The increasing cases of personal social media accounts being blocked by these platforms suggest a cohesive message for all of us: Twitter and Facebook have become dangerously powerful.
Since last fall 2020, GTV conducted a survey to GTV subscribers with a focus on their experiences on big tech companies’ censorship. The purpose of this data collection was to identify social media platforms that instituted overall censorship mechanisms. The findings would provide insights on the magnitude of censorship and highlight of key censored keywords or links. Based on the data collection from the survey, more than 5,500 GTV subscribers reported their experiences of social media censorship from Oct 25th to Dec 15th, 2020.
During the three month period, the percentage of GTV’s respondents’ Twitter accounts being blocked had risen by almost 225 percentage points, from around 2,100 accounts on October 25th 2020 to more than 4,700 accounts on Dec 15th 2020. Meanwhile, the percentage of respondents’ Facebook accounts being blocked had increased from 85 cases to 294 cases. Statistical results from the survey indicated that approximately seven out of eight (87%) Twitter users and nearly 6% of Facebook users reported their accounts had been suspended or banned because they tweeted or posted certain sensitive keywords or links. Less than 1% of the respondents had experienced incidents of being warned or suspended by Instagram (0.5%), Parler (0.6%) and YouTube (0.3%).
The top most censored keywords or links were related to allegations against Joe Biden (the Democratic Presidential nominee during that period of time) and his son, Hunter Biden. Almost immediately after tweeting or posting “not positive comments about Biden’s family” on Twitter and Facebook, the Big Tech first warned those users about “violation of the rules”, then limited users from distribution the related contents, and further blocked all users from sharing censored posts or links. Nearly one out of three (31%) of respondents reported that Twitter suspended their accounts from tweeting out links or articles related to Hunter Biden’s and his family corruptive businesses. It was very dreadful that “Hunter Biden” was the top keyword on the blacklist. Both Twitter and Facebook had suspended and banned more than 5,000 GTV’s users who used any kind of keywords or links related to such notorious political family’s corruption.
Almost a tie between GNews and GTV, they were blacklisted as censored links on the Big Tech’s social media platforms. GNews was the second most censored keyword; whereas GTV was on the third position. Approximately three out of ten (30%) of respondents cited that they were suspended or banned because they used or posted contents and links directly from GNew or GTV on their Twitter and Facebook accounts. From referencing contents of “GNEWS.org” or “GTV.org” to appear keywords such as “Take Down CCP”, “Miles Guo”, “Whistleblower’s Movement”, respondents cited that their Twitter or Facebook accounts had been suspended or blocked.
Not surprisingly, the fourth leading keyword or link being censored was “Dr. Li-Meng Yan” or “the CCP Virus”. More than 5% of respondents cited that their Twitter or Facebook accounts were suspended because they post articles, videos or images related the truth of CCP Virus and Dr. Yan’s reports. This trend was very concerning that the Big Tech inhibited the light of truth especially when COVID pandemic continuously sickened millions of people around the world.
Remarkably, the fifth most censored term was “2020 US Presidential Election fraud” by jumping up a 100% from October to December 2020. Big Tech social media platforms tried to hush user comments that contained keywords or links included “Trump Wins”, “Voter Fraud” and “Election Fraud”. Twitter had started applying warning labels and then silenced tweets containing these viewpoints, while Facebook shut down conservative accounts that would “spread misinformation about voter fraud.” They intended to take excessive steps to automatically censor comments that aimed to shut down opposite perspectives on the most controversial Presidential election in recent US history.
Both Twitter and Facebook not only violated the first amendment but also abused their influential power to decide “who can speak and who does not get to speak”. They played authoritarian roles in distortion of the truth by bullying and intimidating general users. Twitter decided to paralyze freedom of speech by silencing the voice of people and blocking free expression of a will. Facebook’s algorithm had been programmed to limit or ban the spread of any viewpoint of dissidents while they claimed that they would “wait for it to be fact-checked”. It was noteworthy to mention other keywords or links including “New Federal State of China”, “Lude Media”, Support Hong Kong” and “Steven Bannon’s WarRoom” had also been listed as common censored keywords.
While CCP is known for its internet restrictions by imposing the Great Firewall of China, whereas US based Big Tech’s social media platforms are known for their power of monopoly. These platforms created their own content filtering mechanisms that most users might not even know that “soft” censorship is at work. By replicating the CCP’s totalitarian strategy of censorship, Twitter and Facebook now become symbols of repression by taking steps towards more robust measures to vigorously censor for repression of truth purposes. To safeguarding the freedom of press, GNews and GTV continuously strive to provide free speech environment and place high importance on truth, openness, equality, transparency and trust. While the current battle of media censorship has proved to be a war, the only way to end it is to fight it till the end. GNews and GTV would be our safe havens for the freedom of speech!
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