The brainchild of Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Microsoft has grown into a $1 trillion tech behemoth with a president who supports censorship and an advertising manager who says “80 percent of Fox News” should be taken down from Facebook. In addition to the ubiquitous Windows operating system and Office software, Microsoft owns Bing, Skype, Xbox and more. It acquired LinkedIn in 2016.
Microsoft President Brad Smith advocates tech companies removing disagreeable content. Following the New Zealand terrorist attack, Smith said, “We should also pursue new steps beyond the posting of content. For example, we should explore browser-based solutions – building on ideas like safe search – to block the accessing of such content at the point when people attempt to view and download it.” In the same post, he criticized the use of digital tools to amplify “language of hate.” He also hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a federal government career transition.
The company also partners with the liberal NewsGuard, which supposedly ranks the trustworthiness of information sources. NewsGuard was founded by journalist Steven Brill, who has donated four times more to Democrats than Republicans, and is staffed with former journalists. It gives sites a trust rating between zero and 100 and indicates reliability with a red or green label. NewsGuard unfairly and inaccurately attacked Rush Limbaugh over COVID misinformation. Microsoft expanded the “news literacy” partnership in 2020.