On Wednesday, Fox News gave Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) a platform to spout complete fabrications about the purported censorship of conservatives on social media.
Biggs’ interview came the morning after House Republicans held their second public hearing to browbeat Facebook, Google, and Twitter about their alleged censorship of conservatives — allegations that are not supported by data.
Fox News host Sandra Smith framed the issue as a matter of opinion, and asked Biggs, “In your view, is there censorship of conservatives when it comes to these social media companies?”
Biggs replied in the affirmative.
“I think there is and I think there is ample evidence,” Biggs said. “I think of someplace like Western Journal that was growing month over month for quite some time, and the algorithms changed and then all of the sudden, the flow of visitor traffic is put to nothing. I think of Marsha Blackburn who has had to have her website taken down because the purveyors of social media said it was too controversial because she had a pro-life stance. It’s one after another after another, and it’s often related directly to the algorithm that got changed.”
But the question of whether or not conservatives are being censored on social media is a matter of fact, not opinion. And it is simply not the case that conservative voices are being targeted.
As ThinkProgress explained while debunking similar censorship claims made by conservative commentators Diamond & Silk, data indicates Facebook has choked off distribution of content for all media outlets and personalities, liberals and conservatives alike.
In fact, from March 2017 to March 2018 — a period of time during which Diamond & Silk claim they were being censored — the pro-Trump duo’s Facebook interactions actually increased. That’s something that can’t be said for many “liberal” pages.
But Biggs’ comments on Fox News reveals how conservative talking points about “censorship” are completely impervious to facts. Even though there is no data to support their allegations, Republicans keep making them anyway.
For instance, during a Fox News interview in May, RNC chair Ronna McDaniel was asked to provide evidence that Facebook is censoring conservative voices. She made her case by citing the Diamond & Silk hoax.
The month before, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) went on CNN and defended using taxpayer dollars to hold a hearing on Diamond & Silk’s censorship claim by citing “data” sent to him by well-known conspiracy website, Gateway Pundit.
When host Chris Cuomo pushed back on King and pointed out that real data does not support his conspiracy, he quickly changed the topic to Hillary Clinton.