After excoriating newspapers and broadcast TV news for being so biased and so unfair, Donald Trump is widening his repertoire of grievance with the addition of a new target, social media. According to him, it is also so biased and so unfair.
Trump, or at least his Twitter account, took issue with the big social media sites for allegedly failing to highlight reports that the FBI has reopened its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information in emails in their “trending” sections over the weekend.
In his familiar telegraphic style, Trump tweeted: “Wow, Twitter, Google and Facebook are burying the FBI criminal investigation of Clinton. Very dishonest media!”
The tweet may have been prompted by a post on the news and opinion blog Zero Hedge making the same observation. (The post also noted alleged omissions by BuzzFeed and Snapchat.)
This isn’t the first time the social networks have been accused of political bias.
Earlier this year, former Facebook employees who worked as “news curators” claimed they were ordered to suppress news of interest to conservative readers by removing it from the trending news feed. The curators said they removed conservative news despite its popularity as reflected in organic growth.
Facebook denied any political bias in its trending news section, but later moved to reduce human input in these decisions by relying more on algorithms.
More recently, it was revealed that some Facebook employees argued in favor of removing some of Donald Trump’s posts on grounds they constituted “hate speech,” but were ultimately overruled by CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Conservative activists and bloggers have accused Twitter of political bias, due to its decision to ban conservative provocateurs like Milo Yiannopoulos and James O’Keefe. Many conservative pundits also claim that Twitter engages in “shadow banning,” in which it simply doesn’t display their tweets to followers in order to suppress unwelcome opinions.