Rantz: NewsBreak app striking ‘conservative’ opinions it doesn’t like
Sep 19, 2023, 7:06 PM | Updated: Sep 20, 2023, 8:30 am
(Photo courtesy of Newsbreak)
The popular news aggregator NewsBreak approached me to post content on their site. Now, they’re warning me that my content violates their rules.
NewsBreak’s X account messaged me in June, asking if I was interested in posting my content to their website and app. I was interested. They provide another outlet that puts my content in front of people interested in conservative viewpoints and my exclusive reporting. My success comes from my content being consumed and I believe you have to be everywhere, all the time.
But I just deleted my NewsBreak account. They suddenly don’t want me and, possibly, others who share my conservative viewpoints.
A while ago, @newsbreakApp asked me to contribute content to their app and site. I said fine, and started having my stories posted there.
They just gave me a strike for COVID misinformation for saying COVID isn't spreading outdoors and the vaccine doesn't stop the spread. At… pic.twitter.com/ceJrMRijb2
— Jason Rantz on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) September 19, 2023
I recently got dinged by the NewsBreak on two older editorials they recently posted. You get three of these strikes and your account is apparently kaput.
My piece “Washington Department of Health keeps promoting outdated COVID-19 advice” was given a strike for “False or Misleading Content, Impartiality.” As the title suggests, I critiqued the outdated advice being offered, which includes: 1) the vaccine prevents the spread of COVID (it doesn’t); 2) handwashing stops the spread of COVID (it doesn’t, and this bit of COVID-specific advice has long since been abandoned); and 3) mask mandates stop the spread (they don’t). None of these positions are particularly controversial anymore, though they’re still viewed by many as “conservative opinions.”
NewsBreak doesn’t explain what is false or misleading, of course. That would mean their subjective position would be up for debate. If they’re upset that I’m impartial, they look up the role of editorials, which make up about 90% of my work. The popularity of my work is likely what attracted someone from NewsBreak to approach me to begin with.
My appeal was denied, without explanation.
NewsBreak also took issue with my editorial, “Seattle Times can’t figure out why fentanyl floods the city.”
In this article, I criticized a report for implying the newspaper’s staff do not know drugs are coming into Seattle in record numbers because of drug cartels taking advantage of our porous borders and the movement to legalize drugs. But the strike warning told me I was spreading “False or Misleading Content.”
What was false or misleading? No clue. NewsBreak doesn’t explain. They appear to just not like my analysis (get in line, NewsBreak, there are plenty of Times and Stranger reporters who don’t like it either, though they do hate-consume it).
I didn’t bother to appeal this strike. I’m not even sure how I would when I don’t know what their specific concern is. It’s also just not worth my time. I opted to have my account deleted instead.
The dangerous trend
NewsBreak is, unfortunately, participating in the same dangerous silencing that Facebook, YouTube, and others engage in.
Rather than use objective standards, left-wing Big (and small) Tech allows a small handful of moderators to use their subjective personal reactions to content as a basis for removal. That’s why, in part, Big Tech moderation is so inconsistent. The rules aren’t evenly applied and conservative content has been the most targeted. If you can’t win arguments, the Radical Left will just silence you.
The reality is, Big Tech still yields a remarkable amount of power over what views are consumed. We no longer have a town square to disseminate views and openly debate. We have 20-something vegans sipping their oat milk lattes dictating what content passes their personal ideological filters. We’re less informed and worse off for it.
Imagine the power to censor in the hands of your worst enemy
The way tech companies abuse the system is irresponsible. But there have been no consequences for the longest time, so they continue to do it. But that may change soon.
As X reforms and sites like Rumble gain popularity, along with the slow growth of Truth Social and Gettr, power dynamics are starting to change. Consumers are beginning to have viable alternatives and as more and more content is silenced, those alternatives will seem a lot more attractive.
Left-wing ideologues are okay with this kind of media silencing because they benefit. They’ve convinced themselves they’re the ones who have the “right” opinions and everyone else is either ignorant or a danger. Their privilege is that they have control over the culture, right now. But imagine the power to censor in the hands of your worst enemy. Once they face the same kind of targeted attacks to silence their content, they’ll be complaining.
I have no idea whether or not NewsBreak has some kind of systemic issue or if my experiences are the result of some rogue content moderator. They didn’t seem to mind when I brought up the silliness of the strike, dismissing me with a request I file an appeal. Whatever the issue is with NewsBreak, I’m not interested in participating. If they don’t want my content suddenly, they don’t need to have it. But they ought to rethink their policies because when more consumers demand better, they might find themselves digging themselves out of a hole of their own making.
A higher-up emailed me. He said he reversed the decision on the strike (he wasn’t someone who had anything to do with the strike but wanted to make good). I appreciate it but not sure it changes how I feel about this whole issue. If I didn’t make a stink, would anything have…
— Jason Rantz on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) September 20, 2023
Listen to The Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast. Follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.
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