“How many of you heard about Twitter and Facebook censoring the Biden/Ukraine story?” I asked at our bi-monthly mom meet up, circled by kids outfitted with rainboots and homemade bows and arrows. Only two hands, juggling babies and lattes, went up. The five other moms rolled their eyes, utterly not shocked that Big Tech was functioning as their all-knowing nanny again.
The conversation quickly brought out familiar examples of media and Big Tech bias, from censoring #infantseizure on Facebook and redirecting to the Centers for Disease Control vaccine page, to downplaying riots and demonstrations (“When I’m driving with my kids downtown I need to know if ‘protestors’ are blocking freeway traffic”), to the definition of sexual preference (“We don’t change the dictionary!”). If Big Tech’s censorship goal is to turn users into political lemmings, these moms with two to seven kids in tow and ranging from age 29 to 48 aren’t having it.
“When something’s suppressed, it’s clear manipulation. We are being lied to, brainwashed,” one mom remarked as she handed bite-size pieces of granola bar to her toddler.
“It’s incredible when you open your eyes and realize how you have been played by the people that control the internet,” a mom and recent immigrant shared. “It makes me mad, anxious of not being able to find out what is true anymore.”
These women don’t care whether a vice presidential candidate is female, they just want to know hydroxychloroquine’s effectiveness. And they are not outliers. They are representative of a large number of voters on this topic, according to a recent poll.
A recent Washington Examiner/YouGov poll found that “76% [of registered voters] thought social media companies had too much influence, compared to just 6% who said too little and 11% who picked about the right level of influence. The majority includes 82% of Republicans, 71% of Democrats, and 73% of independents.” In addition, the poll found that a majority of voters believe social media platforms are politically biased.
This newly formed Seattle meet-up, composed of both long-time conservatives as well as formerly apolitical moms activated by increasing leftist extremism, was the embodiment of that silent, tech-wary, majority.
“Big Tech censorship makes me feel like thought control and manipulation is the end goal,” one mom later messaged me. “When I find out that information is being suppressed or misrepresented for whatever reason, it makes me furious and I do not forget it. How are we supposed to make informed decisions for our families when we don’t have access to ALL of the information? I can certainly think for myself… I don’t need Facebook or Twitter to do that for me.”
If burying the Biden story was an attempt to shield the Democratic presidential candidate, Big Tech’s censorship is having the exact opposite effect on one mom. “These platforms are showing they cannot be trusted to be unbiased… whatever agenda or person they are protecting or pushing makes me research more and go and vote in the opposite direction.”
With women disproportionately hit by government shutdown job loss, increased child care demands due to shuttered schools, and concerned about riots and looting spilling into their communities, both presidential campaigns are closely monitoring the mom vote. For these mothers chatting by the play equipment, internet censorship has become an election year issue as well. Especially when it became obvious that, as one mom put it, social media outlets were “in bed with leftist parties.”
“Knowing that big tech is hiding a Trump campaign account for sharing information about the news relating to Hunter Biden and hiding articles and negative information about Joe Biden from other sources too, it feels like 1984 or China,” one mom remarked.
Widespread censorship has awakened a political animal in a few of these moms where none previously existed.
“To be honest, I didn’t believe censorship was happening until it happened firsthand to me,” one young Latina mom shared. “I wasn’t active in politics before. I hadn’t even voted before. But now that many of my personal posts have been blocked or removed, I am more motivated than ever to help keep our freedom of speech free.” Her first vote will be for the Republican ticket.
One formerly non-political mom admitted that she “never ever watched any politicians until COVID.” While she was anti-Hillary in 2016, she wasn’t a Trump fan. When the pandemic resulted in massive upheaval for her family of nine, she tuned into Trump’s daily coronavirus briefings.
“I realized that all the things I was holding against him [were] just based on rumors,” and then the blatant media bias became more obvious. “I would watch his speech, and immediately see people posting things about what he had said during the speeches and I could say absolutely, ‘That is not true!’ They were twisting his words and changing things to fit in their agenda!” While she doesn’t love that Trump has had “like seven wives,” the overt media and big tech manipulation has contributed to her “emphatic” vote for Trump in November.
Another mom shared that six months ago, she saw herself as a “solid centrist.” But “there’s no middle anymore.” She is very concerned about the “loss of objectivity” fueled by a biased media. She eventually felt that she had to “choose a side” and ended up choosing the party that was always on the wrong end of Big Tech “errors” and censorship. She didn’t mark her ballot for Trump in 2016, but this year her ballot will be “very very Republican.”
“Big Tech? More like Big Brother,” one mom messaged me later. “The childish fact-checking and deep-sixing of important news Big Tech has engaged in would be laughable, if they didn’t have so much power to shape public opinion.” The move to censor the Biden/Ukraine story only reinforced her choice to vote red in November. “I think [tech] manipulation and dishonesty will eventually ruin them, I just hope it doesn’t cost us more freedom in the process.”
The Big Tech overlords believe it’s their job to determine what you see and as a result, how you should vote. But contrary to what Twitter may think, Jack doesn’t know best. Mother does.
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