Big Tech was part of the Resistance throughout former President Donald Trump's time in office. Top social media companies worked hard to prevent him from being reelected in 2020 through donations, censorship and manipulation.
The Media Research Center found that Facebook and Twitter suppressed and censored at least 260 conservative users for criticizing his opponent: President Joe Biden.
Former Psychology Today editor and psychologist Dr. Robert Epstein called it “election interference.” He told the MRC this kind of censorship “could be considered a valuable, undeclared, in-kind contribution to a political campaign, which is unlawful.”
Just months ahead of the election, Reddit finished its purge of r/The_Donald, Twitter added biased “fact-checks” of Trump’s tweets, and Snapchat said it would no longer promote the president’s content in Discover because it will not “amplify voices who incite racial violence or injustice.” Many tech executives also directly funded or otherwise helped Biden’s campaign.
In March, The Verge noted that Facebook’s fact-checking had become a “political cudgel.” Still, Facebook’s censorship wasn't enough for its very liberal staff, many of whom walked out in protest in June 2020.
One of the most damning revelations of how tech manipulated the election came from Project Veritas. The media outlet captured video of Google’s Responsible Innovation Head Jen Gennai describing how the company worked to retrain its algorithms since Trump's election. She also said breaking up Google would not help “prevent the next Trump situation.”
“We all got screwed over in 2016. The people got screwed over, the news media got screwed over so we’re rapidly been like, what happened there and how do we prevent it from happening again?” Gennai asked.
Speaking of Google, a CBS 60 Minutes investigation found that Google and YouTube removed more than 300 Trump campaign ads in 2019. Most ran for a few days before being removed, but 60 Minutes noted the company’s transparency report provided no explanations of what policies the ads violated.
In addition to all of these methods of potential election interference, tech employees were also involved the old-fashioned way: cold hard cash. Open Secrets data showed election donations from tech employees for the 2020 cycle skewed dramatically to the left at Google, Microsoft, PayPal, Apple, Amazon and Facebook.
- Between April 1, 2020, and Aug. 10, 2020, the MRC collected and verified at least 260 incidents of censorship against conservatives for posting something critical of Biden. These were almost evenly divided between Facebook (129) and Twitter (131).
- “We are not currently promoting the president’s content on Snapchat’s Discover platform,” Snap proclaimed in a public statement. “We will not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice by giving them free promotion on Discover. Oddly, Snap’s decision had nothing to do with Trump’s Snapchat content — but rather things he’d said on Twitter.
- Gaming platform Twitch temporarily suspended Trump from the platform after deeming footage of two of his campaign rallies to be hate speech in June 2020.
- The same month, Reddit banned The_Donald subreddit in a crackdown on hate speech. It was the final action against the subreddit, which had been “quarantined” roughly a year earlier.
- Twitter started fact-checking and flagging Trump tweets in May 2020.
- In the 2020 election year, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman was “exploring” ways to boycott Trump in addition to spending up to $100 million to defeat him at the ballot box.
- Trump doesn’t use LinkedIn, but if he did, the platform would be willing to “take action” and “restrict the speech” it considered inciting violence.
- Vox Recode reported that the tech world is “scrambling to patch [Biden’s] digital deficits.” “[B]ehind the scenes, Silicon Valley’s billionaire Democrats are spending tens of millions of dollars on their own sweeping plans to catch up to President Donald Trump’s lead on digital campaigning.”
- After protesters turned to vandalism in D.C., attempting to tear down statues, Trump tweeted that any effort to create an “autonomous” (aka police-free) zone would be “met with serious force.” Twitter flagged the tweet as “abusive behavior.”
- Facebook removed Trump ads about left-wing “mobs” and Antifa in 2019, claiming they were a violation of their “organized hate” policies. The left-wing Anti-Defamation League claimed the ads used a triangular symbol akin to those used by Nazis to classify concentration camp prisoners. Trump campaign staff said the symbol is used by Antifa and that’s why it was in the ads.
- Facebook banned The Epoch Times from advertising after it skirted the site’s political transparency requirements over $2 million worth of pro-Trump ads in 2019.
- Google programmers discussed how to use its search engine to work against Trump’s travel ban. Once reported, the company called it just a “brainstorm” and said none of it was ever implemented.
- A leaked video showed Google executives and staff “deeply offended” by Trump’s election and in mourning over Clinton’s loss. “Let’s face it, most people here are pretty upset and pretty sad,” said co-founder Sergey Brin. “I’ll be mourning all week, I’ll be honest with you.”
- In 2018, a leaked memo from two years earlier indicated Google did all it could with “our features, our partners, and our voices” to increase Latino votes because it (wrongly) expected them to vote for Hillary Clinton. They even called it a “silent donation.”
- At least three separate reports have confirmed Google search was biased in favor of liberal candidates during the 2016 election. Dr. Robert Epstein (a Clinton supporter) found that Google’s search was so biased in favor of Clinton, he estimated it "shifted over time somewhere between 2.6 and 10.4 million votes to Clinton without anyone knowing that this had occurred.”
- Apple’s Tim Cook and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos were two of the 175 tech company leaders who joined an amicus brief to the Supreme Court against Trump’s travel ban. For all their public opposition, SCOTUS allowed a modified version of the ban to stand.
- After Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement, CEOs at Apple, Microsoft, Google and other companies signed a letter proclaiming they were all still in it.