A new study from the Media Research Center released on Tuesday, show broadcast news networks favored stories about censorship when compared to the issue of free speech.
The report followed several recent instances of major tech platforms such as Facebook, Google, and YouTube limiting and censoring information regarding millions of COVID-19 related posts. Most notably, YouTube announced in September that the company would step up in efforts to limit and ban videos that spread “misinformation” regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The increased censorship received positive coverage on broadcast evening news. Pro-censorship stories and mentions outnumbered those supporting free speech 12-to-0 on network evening news. Much of that coverage focused on network support for President Joe Biden’s push to restrain Coronavirus content,” the report states.
In the midst of these censorship efforts, liberal journalists often show their support for censoring “misinformation.” In October, CNN anchor Don Lemon advocated for even censoring opinions that are not “based in some sort of fact.”
“It should be true … You can have opinions based in fact. OK? So at the very least it should be true. And it should be based in some sort of fact,” Lemon said. “Beyond that — let’s start at that base level, that baseline right there. And then we can go on with the rest of it.”
CNN, however, wasn’t the only network promoting pro-censorship ideas. According to MRC, pro-censorship stories and references outnumbered support for free speech 12-0 across all major broadcast networks.
“Media coverage of the Coronavirus led to overwhelming support for online censorship. Pro-censorship stories and mentions outnumbered those supporting free speech 12-to-0 on broadcast network evening news shows. Much of that coverage focused on network support for President Joe Biden’s push to restrain Coronavirus content,” the study reported. “The other 20 percent of network evening news broadcast stories that covered Big Tech censorship (3 out of 15) were neutral. None of the stories took a pro-free speech position. This comes from a Free Speech America analysis of ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news coverage of third quarter news coverage.”
The Media Research Center reported similar outcomes in April and July, grading tech giants including Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok with a “D” or “F” in regards to free speech.
Censorship on social media has frequently targeted conservative figures and sites. In 2020, Republican staff members from the House Judiciary Committee released a report that condemned the “lopsided” direction of censorship from tech giants.
“Congress must take more direct and powerful measures to address censorship in Big Tech,” the committee report stated. “Whether it occurs at Twitter, Google, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, or elsewhere in Silicon Valley, lopsided censorship threatens civic discourse and undermines American values and freedoms. It must be addressed.”