When people talk about censorship, they typically regard the victim as the particular person or entity whose speech is suppressed by some aggressor — which in recent memory has been predominantly Big Tech. But what about all the people for whom that information is no longer available? These people are victims of secondhand censorship, which massively compounds the issue, as revealed by a shocking new study.
The Media Research Center (MRC), which defines secondhand censorship as “the number of times that users on social media had information kept from them,” found that Big Tech has engaged in direct censorship of individuals and organizations at least 4,000 times. Other users, however, were blocked from seeing these posts or videos at least 144,301,713 times in the first quarter of 2022 alone. That’s more than 36,000 times the instances of direct suppression.
By adding the followers of those censored by Big Tech, MRC calculated how many people were prevented from seeing a post or video that was removed or otherwise suppressed.
“It’s truly mind-boggling that the Silicon Valley speech police have this kind of power,” MRC founder and President Brent Bozell said. “This report gets us one step closer to understanding the real impact anti-conservative discrimination at Facebook, Twitter and others are having on speech in this country.”
Through its own CensorTrack database, MRC found Facebook to be the greatest culprit, with users undergoing secondhand censorship 86,627,526 times. YouTube was second at 23,543,230, and Twitter was close behind at 17,065,054.
When Facebook canceled sitting President Donald Trump’s account, it effectively censored his more than 90 million followers in one fell swoop. By suppressing conservative talk show host Dan Bongino’s posts about masks not working to prevent the spread of Covid-19, YouTube secondhand censored his viewers 1,764,989 times. Twitter even removed Post Millennial Editor-at-Large Andy Ngo’s post of a death threat he received on the grounds that it violated its community standards, resulting in 976,300 people affected secondhand.
Big Tech has targeted war-related and allegedly violent posts the most, with 19 direct instances leading to 26,366,632 secondhand during the first quarter of 2022. YouTube’s censorship of Fox News alone translated to 9,180,000 viewers being barred from hearing about a possible path to peace in the Russia-Ukraine war.
Content critical of the left’s transgender ideology is the second most censored topic by Big Tech giants. Through 22 direct attempts, social media users were blocked from information 11,964,958 times.
Big Tech nukes content regarding Covid-19 and abortion too. By deactivating a grassroots group that planned to unite truckers from across the states to protest Covid restrictions, Facebook hindered their 137,000 followers from participating in the organized protest. Twitter blocked a report from Just the News on a peer-reviewed Swedish study regarding the Pfizer vaccine’s effects on human DNA. Just the News founder John Solomon’s 867,000 Twitter followers were prohibited from seeing the March 3 study. When Twitter locked the account of Crisis Magazine Editor-in-Chief Eric Sammons for a tweet critiquing abortion, his followers were affected secondhand 16,600 times.
MRC’s shocking study shows Big Tech’s censorship spree is not limited to the individuals it targets. It also affects their millions of followers who are barred from whatever information the leftist giants want to squash.
Beth Whitehead is an intern at The Federalist and a journalism major at Patrick Henry College where she fondly excuses the excess amount of coffee she drinks as an occupational hazard.