On Fox, Trump campaign manager and RNC chairwoman make debunked claims about conservative censorship on social media
Studies have debunked the notion that conservatives are being targeted by social media platforms
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From the May 24 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Meanwhile, Facebook and other social media networks under fire for alleged censorship of conservative viewpoints.
AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): Now the Trump 2020 campaign and the RNC [Republican National Committee] are taking their fight against censorship straight to the source. They're sending a letter right now, as they're on air, to both Facebook and to Twitter.
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Ronna, first off, your reaction to it. That's a legitimate fear that the right has, isn't it?
RONNA MCDANIEL (RNC CHAIRWOMAN): It's a legitimate fear. Brad and I hear it all the time as we're traveling the country. People are very concerned that conservative voices are going to be suppressed on social media. Of course, many of their users are conservatives. And so Brad and I feel preemptively we have to get out ahead of this, talk to Facebook, talk to Twitter, ask them for transparency, let us know what you're going to do to make sure that every voice has a say on these social media platforms, especially before this critical midterm.
EARHARDT: So Brad, right now while you're sitting on the curvy couch, this letter is being sent to Twitter and to Facebook? What does it say?
BRAD PARSCALE (TRUMP 2020 CAMPAIGN MANAGER): Well, I mean main thing about the letter is we've had so much incoming about Diamond and Silk being blocked. Other conservative voices -- every day I receive thousands of messages saying, "I'm being shadow-banned." And what we want to do in this letter is to make sure that we understand what's happening. We want to ask them for transparency. I think the public deserves that transparency, and we need to know that conservative voices have a chance to get their message out. And this is a big problem. I mean --
KILMEADE: Is it happening already?
MCDANIEL: Oh, yeah. Yeah. We saw it with Diamond and Silk. You saw Mark Zuckerberg have to talk about that in front of Congress. But we've run into campaigns who've said, "I launched," one in Michigan, he said, "I launched and I got shut down." We need to make sure that conservative ideals and principles are allowed on these social media platforms and there's not a thought police --
MCDANIEL: -- coming from Silicon Valley.
DOOCY: And I'm glad you mentioned the thought police because Facebook, when Mark Zuckerberg was in the hot seat, he was talking about, "Well, we're hiring all these people and we're going to use a different metric to figure out whether something is hate speech or whether it's inappropriate." But they're also using, in your estimation, liberal organizations as the fact checkers and that does not help your side.
PARSCALE: Yeah I mean they've done these algorithm changes. Now they're talking about -- and let's be very honest. They live in a liberal bubble in Northern California. And this is where these people are doing this. The companies, the employees, we saw this in the 2016 campaign, where they were manually manipulating the trends. We've seen this with the algorithm changes. We've seen reduction in Trump's reach on the platform 25, 30, even 40 percent reach decrease. These things -- and I want to make sure they're done evenly.
PARSCALE: Fairly. And I think there's a transparent layer that can be put on there where the public can know what it is. Why can't we know why people are being banned? Why can't we see? Why can't there be a special area of the website?
DOOCY: Well people don't understand an algorithm, but they could understand why they took something down.
PARSCALE: Yes. And that's important.