At Guns Save Life, we have criticized big tech for throttling our message for years. We left Facebook at the end of December 2020. We ditched Twitter a couple of years before that because of their censorship.
Before Facebook implemented its censorship AI algorithms, we could count on our posts and stories reaching thousands. Tens and hundreds of thousands were not unheard of with particularly hot topics. And then it dropped off to double digits during the Trump term. As in tens of people instead of tens of thousands.
It was far more work than it was worth, so we bailed. That and we left them before they banned us. By leaving on our own, we left on our terms, not theirs. We haven’t looked back and have done just fine, in part thanks to GSL having access to national megaphones with my writing with The Truth About Guns and now Shooting News Weekly.
To this day we still hear complaints from gun shops and gun culture folks about Facebook censorship issues. And how they have to tip-toe through a minefield of “terms and conditions” to keep their (throttled) accounts. Folks, that’s what happens when you play with a snake. You will get bit sooner or later.
We’ve always suspected Google employed censorship. We have seen examples of this from time to time. But until this morning, I hadn’t seen any substantive evidence that they “discriminated” against us. A little old state-level grassroots gun rights org.
Working on the Shannon Watts post, I searched for stories on the GSL website for Shannon Watts Troughman. Yeah, I failed to recall her exact maiden name, but Yahoo didn’t have a problem sending back a corrected result.
All we got were puff pieces on Watts.
Here’s a link to the full-size screen grab.
What can we do about it?
Nothing as far as Google.
The one thing we can do is let people know that if you want to google stuff from the Guns Save Life website, don’t use Google. And similarly, keep in mind they are using Artificial Intelligence algorithms in the results they return. And those alogos aren’t your friend if you’re pro-gun.