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 the Bing web browser, Skype, Xbox and more. It also acquired LinkedIn in 2016.
Microsoft President Brad Smith advocates tech companies do more to limit 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 program which 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.
- Microsoft sided with protesters and against police in 2020, when it announced it would stop supplying police with facial recognition technology. Former acting Director of National Intelligence condemned the company saying it ought to be “barred from federal government contracts.”
- Anti-Trump activist and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman is a member of Microsoft’s board. Hoffman included Jeffrey Epstein as a party guest even after he was registered as a sex offender.
- The company formed a “news literacy” partnership with NewsGuard in 2018 and expanded it in 2020, despite the rankings platforms’ liberal biases.
- In 2019, an unnamed female Microsoft employee spoke out against the company’s discrimination against white and Asian men.
- Microsoft ad program manager Dare Obasanjo tweeted that Fox News and Ben Shapiro provide “misleading propaganda.” He also said “80 percent of Fox News videos” ought to be taken down by Facebook.
- The company scrubbed Minecraft creator Markus Persson from the game’s history over his political incorrectness.
- Xbox head Phil Spencer admitted in 2019: “Xbox Live is not a free speech platform ... It is not a place where anybody can come and say anything.”