British historian Niall Ferguson warns that Silicon Valley will decide the winners of future elections unless conservatives do something to combat social media censorship and skewed algorithms.
“If we do nothing, the mid-terms are going to be worse than you already think – a lot worse – because never again will the network platforms in Silicon Valley allow conservative candidates to use them as Donald Trump’s campaign used them in 2016,” said Ferguson, adding that Facebook couldn’t believe how vital their platform was in helping Trump get elected.
“I don’t think he would have become president without Facebook,” said Ferguson.
Hoover Institution's Niall Ferguson on censorship: 'Silicon Valley will never again allow conservatives to use social networks like Trump did in 2016,' midterms could be 'a lot worse than you already think.' pic.twitter.com/UIDYDUoqqU
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) March 15, 2018
The historian said that conservatives had to come up with a better idea to combat social media control than “self-regulation”.
“Conservatives are simply going to be at a disadvantage, the algorithm is already in some ways skewed against far-right elements….but who decides? Who decides who is ‘Alt-Right’ and doesn’t belong in the public sphere?” asked Ferguson, adding that after Charlottesville, Silicon Valley chief executives decided, “if they don’t like the cut of your jib, goodbye, you’ll be on page 10 of the search.”
According to psychologist Robert Epstein, Google’s ranking algorithm for search results, “could determine the outcome of upwards of 25 percent of all national elections” simply by means of listing positive and negative articles in an order that favors one candidate over the other.
A new study by Western Journalism finds that liberal websites have benefited from Facebook’s recent algorithm change while conservative news outlets have been punished.
“Liberal publishers have gained about 2 percent more web traffic from Facebook than they were getting prior to the algorithm changes implemented in early February. On the other hand, conservative publishers have lost an average of nearly 14 percent of their traffic from Facebook,” states the report.
The latest conservative voice to be silenced by Twitter is Steven Crowder. The comedian and talk show host was hit with a 7 day suspension over a parody video.
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