U.S. Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn is calling on YouTube and Google officials to publicly explain why they have removed more than 300 campaign ads for U.S. Republican President Donald Trump.
“Online platforms wield tremendous power in swaying public opinion to the right or left, and with that power comes much responsibility,” Blackburn told The Tennessee Star in an email Tuesday.
“As the 2020 election heats up, YouTube has a responsibility to the American people to be open and transparent about its real reasons for taking down what it considers ‘problematic’ campaign ads and why. The American people deserve an answer. YouTube has a duty to answer.”
YouTube officials did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
Company officials also would not explain their reasons to CBS News.
“In an effort to address the issue of free speech and censorship, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki appeared on 60 Minutes with Lesley Stahl, claiming that YouTube was fair to all content creators. But CBS confirmed that ‘over 300 video ads’ from the Trump campaign were ‘taken down by Google and YouTube…for violating company policy,’ with the report adding that ‘we found very little transparency in [YouTube’s] transparency report,” according to American Greatness.
“When Stahl asked Wojcicki about the censorship against conservatives, Wojcicki claimed that ‘there are lots of very successful conservative creators on YouTube’ without naming any examples, while also adding that ‘we also have people who come from more liberal backgrounds who complain about discrimination,’ again without evidence.”
As reported in June, James O’Keefe of Project Veritas released undercover videos that month exposing a left-wing bias at Google. In those videos, Google employees discuss the tools they use to try to undermine Trump and prevent his reelection next year.
As reported, a Google software engineer with clout verbally attacked Blackburn last year, calling her “a violent thug” and a “terrorist.”
That employee, Blake Lemoine, also defended censoring Blackburn’s campaign ads on social media as she ran for the U.S. Senate last year.
The comments reportedly took place in an internal email discussion last summer. The topic of discussion was a FOX News column in which Blackburn, then a congresswoman, urged tech companies to address bias against conservatives. Blackburn has criticized tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Twitter.
Lemoine accused Blackburn of lying to the public and of “causing the deaths of people she claimed to protect” – referring to her work on two anti-trafficking bills, which has pushed most sex workers off Twitter.
Lemoine at the time was a technical lead on Google’s search feed, formerly known as Google Now. The feed sends information to users proactively, using personal data to predict what information users want before they search for it.
As reported, Lemoine also had a role in firing a conservative co-worker.
Google recently fired software engineer Mike Wacker for complaining about an anti-conservative bias within the company. Google officials, however, told Fox Business that Wacker threatened co-workers, and the firing was justified after multiple warnings.
But Wacker said the company still tolerates threats from left-leaning employees.
According to Breitbart, “Independent research acknowledged even by the anti-Trump Washington Post, found that Google search results tended to favor Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. Research conducted prior to the 2016 election also found that if Google deliberately skewed its search results to favor particular candidates, it could shift the votes of undecided voters by margins of 20 percent or more.”
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