During a Friday interview on Fox News, RNC chair Ronna McDaniel was asked to provide evidence that Facebook is censoring conservative voices. She made her case by citing a hoax.
“Just for the audience — state the evidence as to why you think there is bias on these platforms,” host Bill Hemmer asked McDaniel, who this week co-authored a letter to social media companies claiming that “rampant political bias” has resulted in conservatives being censored.
“Well, Diamond & Silk this morning were saying that their viewership has gone way down since they were suspended,” McDaniel replied. “We’re asking people to go to GOP.com and share their instances so we can take them to Facebook.”
There’s just one problem — Diamond & Silk’s censorship claim is a hoax. Data analyzed by ThinkProgress indicates not only that Diamond & Silk haven’t been suppressed by Facebook, but that their total interactions have actually grown since last year — something that can’t be said for liberal pages.
Data from analytics platform Crowdtangle showed that [Diamond & Silk’s] “total interactions” had actually increased from March 2017 (1,060,000) to March 2018 (1,088,000) when they claimed that they were being censored. Diamond & Silk also received more interactions in January 2018 (1,328,000) when they claimed they were “censored” than in any other month in 2017.
The fact is that Facebook has choked off distribution of content for all media outlets and personalities, liberal and conservatives alike. And yet McDaniel, numerous Republican members of Congress, and Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale have all continued to publicly assert that Facebook is specifically targeting conservatives like Diamond & Silk.
Such claims usually go unchallenged on Fox News. Hemmer, for instance, didn’t press McDaniel on the fact that Diamond & Silk’s baseless claims aren’t evidence of Facebook censorship. But when Republicans have tried to make the case on other networks, it hasn’t gone well.
Last month, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) went on CNN and defended using Congress’ time and money to hold a hearing on Diamond & Silk’s censorship claim by citing a well-known conspiracy website, Gateway Pundit.
When host Chris Cuomo pushed back and pointed out to King that data does not support his conspiracy, he quickly changed the topic to Hillary Clinton.