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Tuesday, January 30, 2018
MRC's Bozell Falls for O'Keefe's Bogus Twitter 'Shadow Ban' Story
Topic: Media Research Center

James O'Keefe screwed the pooch when he got busted for trying to fool the Washington Post with a bogus sexual harassment "victim" of Roy Moore -- and even then, the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell was slow to denounce O'Keefe, if only to preserve his self-proclaimed "moral standing" in the conservative media and hide the fact that the MRC has been an enthusiastic promoter of O'Keefe's previous charades.

When O'Keefe did another goofy sting -- in the form of secretly recorded videos of a random Twitter employee who said something about "shadow banning" conservatives -- he managed to un-screw the pooch in Bozell's eyes. Cue Bozell's usual pop-eyed freakout mode:

I have been a critic of some of James O'Keefe's work in the past, so I have the credentials to say the following: What O'Keefe has produced is not just extraordinary but it demands national attention. If social media is the communications vehicle of the future —  and it is —  then this represents the most sinister threat to free speech in history. That is no exaggeration. The radical left is out to censor the voices of all with whom they disagree. O'Keefe has proven it. Every American needs to watch this —  if, of course, Twitter will allow it.

Yes, Bozell really did claim that this purported "shadow banning" was "the most sinister threat to free speech in history."

Bozell followed this with an open letter to Twitter's CEO insisting that "Project Veritas’s videos provide evidence which cannot be disputed."

Well, actually, it can. As tech news site Ars Technica details:

If you talk to enough people at an organization with thousands of employees, it's inevitable that you'll catch some of them saying stuff that at least sounds bad. We don't know how many Twitter employees O'Keefe's organization talked to who didn't say anything embarrassing—or even directly contradicted O'Keefe's thesis that Twitter is systematically censoring conservatives.


The group definitely established that Twitter's workforce is predominantly liberal—something that will be unsurprising to anyone familiar with the politics of the Bay Area. Given the power of Twitter's content moderators and engineers, there's an obvious danger that the company's liberal biases will cause them to treat conservative content more harshly than liberal content.

What Project Veritas hasn't uncovered, however, is any evidence that Twitter is systematically using its platform to silence conservative voices. When an engineer talked about "banning a way of talking," he was clearly not referring to conservatives. The same is true of another former engineer's discussion of "shadow banning"—and it's not even clear if Twitter still engages in shadow banning at all.


Project Veritas did find one person involved in Twitter's content moderation policy who said he saw the policy being used more strictly against conservatives than liberals. But that's about it. O'Keefe didn't find any evidence of systematic anti-conservative bias in Twitter's policies or filtering algorithms.

Which might explain why we haven't heard much about this non-scandal from Bozell and the MRC since his initial rage. Bozell probably doesn't want to admit he got burned by someone he should never have trusted in the first place.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:37 AM EST

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