by WorldTribune Staff, August 12, 2016
It’s no surprise to conservatives that the “usual suspects” of left-leaning media outlets are doing everything they can to boost Hillary Clinton and demonize Donald Trump.
In 2016, however, “the propaganda skewing … runs much deeper than just the media,” journalist and political pundit Liz Crokin wrote for Observer.com on Aug. 12.
“Our iPhones, iPads, social media networks, Google and even video games are all in the tank for Hillary Clinton — and it’s chilling,”she wrote.
“I began looking into how strong the bias and censorship runs in these forums after I did an interview on the pro-Trump podcast, MAGAPod. The show’s host, Mark Hammond, was disappointed Apple wouldn’t run his show without an “explicit” warning.
Hammond’s podcast didn’t contain content that would be deemed explicit under Apple’s policy, and most other shows in the News & Politics category aren’t labeled as such,” Crokin wrote.
“On June 18, Hammond talked to Sandra, a representative from Apple. She explained that, since the description of his show is pro-Trump, his show is explicit in nature — because the subject matter is Donald Trump. So, an Apple employee concluded the Republican presidential candidate is explicit.”
Crokin noted that “iTunes has dozens of podcasts discussing Osama bin Laden and Adolf Hitler — none of which is marked explicit. I encouraged Hammond to contact Apple again, via email to their podcast support team. Within 48 hours he received a response from ‘Tim,’ who informed Hammond that his podcast would be updated to ‘clean’ within 24 hours.”
Crokin’s further investigative efforts revealed more evidence that Apple “is feeding users pro-Hillary and anti-Trump propaganda.”
“Over the past year, Apple twice refused to publish a satirical Clinton Emailgate game, ‘Capitol HillAwry,’ claiming it was ‘offensive’ and ‘mean spirited’ even though the game’s developer, John Matze, cited in communications with Apple that the game fits the standards of Apple’s own satire policy,” Crokin wrote.
“Apple has, however, approved dozens of games poking fun at Donald Trump— including a game called ‘Dump Trump,’ which depicts the GOP nominee as a giant turd.”
After Breitbart reported on Apple’s double standard and favoritism toward Clinton, the company “caved and published Capitol HillAwry, 15 months after Matze’s first attempt to go live.”
“Around the same time I was a guest on MAGAPod, a friend complained to me about how biased his Apple News feed is against Trump. I set up an Apple News account on my iPhone,” Crokin continued.
“First step: select an outlet. Fox News. Conservative. But my news feed? Liberal.
And if there are articles above the fold from more right-leaning sites? They paint Trump in a negative light and Hillary in a positive light. Of all the channels listed in the Apple News politics section, only two of the 16 arguably lean right — the rest are reliably left-wing.
“… Apple claims not to endorse candidates, but their actions suggest otherwise, and some of their executives — including CEO Tim Cook — actively support Clinton’s campaign.”
Crokin noted that Buzzfeed “recently obtained an invitation to a private $50,000-per-plate fundraiser Cook is hosting for Clinton with his Apple colleague, Lisa Jackson, at the end of this month.”
Meanwhile, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said that Clinton made a deal with Google and that the tech giant is “directly engaged” in her campaign.
“It’s been widely reported Clinton hired Eric Schmidt — chairman of Alphabet, the parent company of Google — to set up a tech company called The Groundwork,” Crokin wrote. “Assange claims this was to ensure Clinton had the ‘engineering talent to win the election.’ He also pointed out that many members of Clinton’s staff have worked for Google, and some of her former employees now work at Google.
“So it should come as no surprise that there have been multiple reports accusing Google of manipulating searches to bury negative stories about Clinton.SourceFed details how Google alters its auto-complete functions to paint Clinton in a positive light.”
Crokin provided an example: “When you type ‘Hillary Clinton cri’ into other engines like Yahoo! or Bing, the most popular autofills are ‘Hillary Clinton criminal charges’ but in Google it’s ‘Hillary Clinton crime reform.’ Google denies they changed their algorithm to help Clinton, and insists the company does not favor any candidate. They also claim their algorithms don’t show predicted queries that are offensive or disparaging.”
But, Crokin continued, “Google has gotten into hot water on multiple occasions for connecting Trump to Adolf Hitler. In June, when users searched ‘when Hitler was born’ it generated the expected information on Hitler but also an image of Trump. In July, searches for Trump’s book, Crippled America, returned images of Adolf Hitler’s manifesto Mein Kempf. Google has since fixed both — but again, why do these issues always conveniently disparage Trump and help Clinton?”
Twitter “is another culprit,” Crokin wrote. “The company has gotten a lot of slack for banning conservatives and Trump supporters such as Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos and, most recently, rapper Azealia Banks after she came out in support of Trump. Twitter has provided vague answers as to why conservative voices have been banned while they’ve allowed other users to call for the killing of cops.”
On Aug. 11, Buzzfeed revealed that Twitter’s top executive personally protected President Barack Obama from seeing critical messages last year.
“In 2015, then-Twitter CEO Dick Costolo secretly ordered employees to filter out abusive and hateful replies to President Barack Obama.”
Crokin continued: “This year, Twitter isn’t just banning conservatives — the platform also changed its algorithms to promote Clinton while giving negative exposure to Trump.
“The founders of some of the most popular pro-Trump Twitter handles—including @USAforTrump2016 and @WeNeedTrump — insist Twitter is censoring their content. They’ve pointed out that Twitter changes trending hashtags associated with negative tweets about Clinton (which has been reported before). On Aug. 4, shortly after the hashtag ‘HillaryAccomplishment’ began trending, it was taken over by anti-Clinton users, who used it to mention Benghazi or Emailgate. Eric Spracklen, @USAforTrump2016 founder, noticed the hashtag was quickly changed— pluralized to #HillarysAccomplishments.”
“They take away the hashtag that has negative tweets for Clinton and replace it with something that doesn’t so the average person doesn’t see what was really trending,” Spracklen said. “This happens every day.”
Jack Murphy, founder of @WeNeedTrump, says followers complain they often aren’t able to retweet his pro-Trump tweets.
“Instagram has also banned accounts that depict Clinton in a negative light,” Crokin wrote. “In June, a conservative comedy group called Toughen Up America was banned with no warning or explanation. Last week, the popular Australian-based graffiti artist, Lushsux, was banned from Instagram after he posted photos of a bikini-clad Clinton mural he painted.”
Lushsux told the Daily Mail Australia: “I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist with a tin foil hat, but the timing of the Hillary Clinton mural posting and the deletion that ensued can’t just be a coincidence.
“Lushsux has posted photos of way more graphic murals, including a topless Melania Trump and a naked Donald with his package in full sight. These images did not trigger any censorship from Instagram,” Crokin wrote.
Facebook also has a long history of “shutting down pages and blocking conservative users while promoting progressive voices like Black Lives Matter activists,” Crokin conintued. “The problem became so transparent that Sen. John Thune sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asking him to explain their practices.”
Facebook denies it discriminates against “any sources of ideological origin,” but Crokin noted that Facebook employees have donated more to Clinton than to any other candidate.
When “one cannot even search for alternative viewpoints amid technology companies who stand to benefit from the free-trade policies and eased immigration regulations of a Clinton presidency, represents a dangerous sea change,” Crokin wrote. “There’s absolutely no question the digital forums we use every day are censoring conservatives and favoring Clinton. You can’t simply scroll through photos on Instagram, look for a video game in the App Store or do a quick Google search without being fed anti-Trump and pro-Clinton propaganda.
“These companies are engaging in activity that can quickly lead down a very dangerous slippery slope and this should concern all freedom-loving Americans — not just conservatives. If you don’t know when the election is, no problem! Just Google it and see for yourself what comes up…”