GOOGLE Funds 29 Journalism Projects That Swing Left… FACEBOOK Censoring Conservatives; Company Blames ‘Moderation Mistakes’

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The same day Facebook launched its “News” tab, Google quietly poured money into news projects around the world. But many of these projects are aimed in one political direction.

The new project, the Google News Initiative North American Innovation Challenge, announced 34 news projects to be funded on Oct. 25. Twenty-nine of these projects were located in the states, while the other four were in Canada. One of the projects was unlisted. The first name on the list for the U.S., The Dallas Morning News, ran editorials announcing its endorsement of Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Beto O’Rourke for Senate in 2018.

One of the outlets, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, received $535,000 from liberal billionaire George Soros between the years 2010-2013. The Center runs op-eds that claims that “Dems Back More Openness” than Republicans.

Some of the other projects did not seem to have a political bent (or hadn’t been started yet.) But those that were more established, like The Salt Lake Tribune, were definitely tinged with blue. The Tribune endorsed President Obama back in 2012, and in 2017 called for Republican Senator Orrin Hatch to retire.

Typically, the projects were city daily papers or newsletters that promoted Democrats over Republicans.

Is Facebook censoring conservatives or is moderating just too hard?

Last year, Prager University took to Twitter to complain about Facebook. The conservative organization’s grievance? Facebook had blocked videos that were flagged as hate speech.

One of the blocked videos argued that men should be more masculine, rather than less. Another video stated it wasn’t Islamophobic to argue that the Muslim world is currently “dominated by bad ideas and beliefs.”

Facebook quickly apologized, tweeting that the blocks were mistakes. The social network, which defines hate speech as a “direct attack” based on religion, gender or other protected characteristics, said it would look into what happened.

That didn’t satisfy PragerU or some of its more than 3 million Facebook followers, who accused the company of intentionally censoring conservative speech.

“They didn’t do anything until there was a public outcry,” said Craig Strazzeri, chief marketing officer of PragerU, adding that the social network has a history of censoring conservative speech.

Facebook has repeatedly denied that it suppresses conservative voices.


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