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Tim Pool is going to The White House on Thursday, and it’s very promising news for the future of social media in America.
Pool will be attending President Trump’s Digital Summit by invitation. Invitations were not extended to Facebook, Google or Twitter.
Whether it was #LearnToCode or the Vox Adpocalypse, the Covington boys or the Jussie Smollett scandal, Pool has been at the forefront of exposing the biases of media outlets and big tech for seemingly as long as the culture wars have been raging. His independent, crowd-sourced coverage of online censorship is the gold standard of today’s journalism.
When Joe Rogan famously lobbed softballs at Twitter’s Jack Dorsey on The Joe Rogan Experience, people were frustrated that they didn’t get straight answers from Dorsey.
Thankfully, and to his credit, Rogan got a do-over with Dorsey. The second time around, Tim Pool was Rogan’s secret weapon. Pool grilled Dorsey and Head of Trust and Safety, Vijaya Gadde on the platform’s left-leaning political bias. He brought up instance after instance of ideological bias at Twitter from the banning of Meghan Murphy to the double standard applied to the Proud Boys vs. Antifa situation. It was a classic case of speaking truth to power and it provided a ray of hope for those of us on the free speech side of the culture wars.
Facebook, Google, and Twitter have taken censorship and suppression against conservatives to the next level over the last few years. And in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election, this is likely to continue.
In a video responding to his invitation to the summit, Pool pointed to a 2016 Gizmodo article that revealed that former Facebook employees revealed that they suppressed conservative news outlets. The bias has been in play for a very long time.
Pool also refers to the “sheer amount of evidence” that conservatives have been discriminated against on social media, pointing to recent revelations that Google employees and executives are hell bent “on never letting somebody like Donald Trump come to power again.” While such an aim is perfectly acceptable for political operatives, it is completely unacceptable for a search engine that people trust for non-partisan search results.
Pool went on to say that all of the recent moves by YouTube to favour “authoritative” news sources are leading to an amplification of corporate voices on the platform. He points out that most independent news sources are conservative while most corporate news sources skew to the left: “The independent ecosystem that allows Trump and his supporters to speak is being shut down.”
Pool added that he is not a Trump supporter and other independent liberals like David Pakman have been negatively affected as well. Pool also made the point that at times, the biases acted upon by big tech employees are not political, but personal, and that they are sometimes based on class as opposed to ideology.
It will be interesting to see what comes of a consultation with the president on the topic of social media, especially considering that the House and the Trump administration are already looking closely at antitrust legislation against Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.