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A legacy media outlet is doubling down on its leftward political lurch by pushing businesses to apply the draconian speech controls employed by social media giants to online shopping, dating, reviews and more.

Forbes, the outlet that once tried to advise businesses on how to “decenter whiteness in your workplace,” continued its decent into becoming a leftist propaganda site. This time the outlet took a whack at free speech. Forbes was apparently so enamored with Big Tech’s suppression of free speech that it is now urging smaller platforms to follow suit with user-generated content (UGC). The outlet’s Technology Council on May 23 described anti-speech policies on X (formerly Twitter), Meta (Facebook and Instagram), and Reddit to advise shopping, dating, and reviewing platforms to jump on the censorship bandwagon. Its prescription even entailed weaponizing artificial intelligence. 

“While not a direct comparison, businesses looking to incorporate more UGC into their customer engagement strategies can learn a thing or two from the biggest names in social media,” Forbes asserted. “On the front lines of content moderation, these companies have created and evolved their strategies to suit the needs of their audiences, providing a blueprint for other industries.” 

One censorship method the Forbes Technology Council promoted was “Freedom Of Speech, Not Reach On X.” Despite X owner Elon Musk’s repeated vows to champion free speech, X CEO Linda Yaccarino has bragged about demoting and suppressing content which is legal and protected by the First Amendment, but which does not align with censors’ views. Forbes did admit that demoting rather than removing content could lessen advertising dollars, which is interesting in light of Yaccarino’s previous statement that X censorship was done to please advertisers.

Another method that Forbes pushed was “Community-Based Moderation On Reddit.” The Forbes Technology Council eagerly noted that community censors remove posts and ban users in a way that is “cost-effective while also being scalable.” The risk that Forbes identified was not that this approach was dangerous to free speech, but rather the idea that the platforms themselves should be enforcing censorship, not fellow users.

Finally, Forbes claimed, “Meta’s platforms, Facebook and Instagram, set the example for AI-led moderation of UGC.” The outlet approvingly detailed how Meta’s artificial intelligence (AI) can identify and censor content on the platforms, and how Meta combines human and AI content moderation. Forbes suggested this combination of human and AI censorship working in tandem was best: “AI on its own can be a blunt instrument, eliminating swaths of good content with the bad, unless combined with human moderators.” 

The extent to which Facebook in particular has been an enemy of free speech has been extensively documented by MRC Free Speech America’s database. 

Forbes should retire any notion of it still being a pro-capitalism publication, as it clearly doesn’t see the problem with treating free speech and free markets as being mutually exclusive to one another. 

MRC Associate Editor for Free Speech America Joseph Vazquez contributed to this report.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using MRC Free Speech America’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.