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Online News Aggregators Bigger Threat to Conservatives Than TV Networks?

Posted on Monday, February 5, 2024
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by AMAC Newsline
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10 Comments

AMAC Exclusive – By Aaron Flanigan

Google News application icon on Apple iPhone X smartphone screen close-up. Google news app icon. Social network. Social media icon

As Republicans in Congress continue to investigate various left-wing schemes to reshape American society, from election interference to collusion between the Deep State and Big Tech on censorship operations, one powerful force with growing influence over our culture which conservatives should not overlook is online news aggregators.

Over the course of the last few years, cable news viewership has plummeted, with overall viewership numbers down 50 percent across all networks since 2014. Subscriptions to newspapers and magazines (including digital subscriptions) have also steadily declined. Instead, Americans are increasingly turning to online news aggregators to get their information.

Unlike traditional news outlets which share their own content, news aggregation sites like Apple News, Microsoft’s MSN, and Firefox’s Pocket curate pieces from other news sites to share with readers. As more Americans rely on these online news aggregators as their sources of information, it is becoming increasingly clear that supposedly neutral aggregation sites—some of which use artificial intelligence to pull stories from across the web—are just another channel for Big Tech and media companies to impose their left-wing prejudices on the American people.

While news aggregators are supposed to focus on providing users with stories from a wide spectrum of sources, the aggregators appear to have assembled teams of editors, sometimes complemented by AI software, that funnel an endless stream of left-wing hit pieces and ideological propaganda onto the screens of millions of Americans.

In 2019, for instance, The Guardian reported how millions of voters in Britain received a notification straight to their iPhone from Apple News encouraging them to watch three videos highlighting a “difficult start to election week for the Tories,” Britain’s conservative faction. The content was clearly intended to embarrass conservative politicians in Britain at a crucial time as voters cast their ballots.

The decision to send the notification directly to every iPhone in Britain was made by Apple News’s five-member U.K. editorial team—effectively making them one of the most powerful media entities in the country. Despite the immense influence they wield over the electorate, however, few Britons had ever even heard of them.

Companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla often hide behind their algorithms as an excuse to continue their politically biased content curation. They insist that users merely see stories like ones that they have engaged with in the past, or that other users are sharing widely, rather than stories motivated by a partisan agenda.

But as the incident in Britain shows, that is not always the case. On issues of great importance, a shadowy group of human editors has the ability and the propensity to step in and push content to users that favors their own liberal ideological convictions.

Meanwhile, as AMAC Newsline has previously noted, aggregators such as Microsoft’s MSN and Firefox’s Pocket routinely push content like a Rolling Stone list hailing the “50 most inspirational LGBTQ songs of all time,” a Vanity Fair piece disparaging the “sheer stupidity of Republican politics,” an NPR piece speculating on how climate change will “cause a home insurance meltdown,” and a BBC article praising what is described as “the Communist leader who led an Indian state through COVID.”

Other promoted content from these aggregators has included a story from USA Today asserting that former president Trump is “an unprecedented danger to democracy,” MSNBC coverage stating that Trump poses a “threat” of “authoritarian government,” a Washington Post analysis warning of “a looming Trump dictatorship,” a Mediaite article puffing up Mitt Romney’s claim that a second Trump term is a “dangerous course to go down,” and a State of the Union piece validating Liz Cheney’s statement that the Republican Party is on track for an “existential crisis” in 2024. The list goes on.

Though the left is of course represented in great numbers within the online media landscape, news curators regularly fail to promote any content generated by popular conservative platforms like The Federalist, The Daily Wire, The Washington Examiner, Breitbart, and The Washington Free Beacon—each of which produces insightful content that could help aggregators present a more balanced array of news stories and analyses.

As this left-wing bias becomes more obvious, news aggregation services may soon find themselves facing the same collapse in trust now befalling traditional media outlets. However, the question remains: will conservatives hold aggregators accountable similar to how they have the legacy media?

Though many liberal corporate actors often go out of their way to ignore it, the fact remains that Americans are paying attention—and when their values are under assault, they will fight back and ensure that woke companies pay the price. They should hope that the Republican establishment will take their side before it’s too late.

Aaron Flanigan is the pen name of a writer in Washington, D.C.

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Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
28 days ago

DONT Trust Google, Samsung etc “News” aside Cable TV for Conservatives

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
28 days ago

Anybody thinks censorship doesn’t exist go post on-line about Hunter Bidens computer or the origins of COVID; I dare you! Just make sure its a platform that you don’t mind being booted off of for “violating community standards”.

sdg
sdg
28 days ago

Watch News-max period.

Theresa Coughlin
Theresa Coughlin
27 days ago

let’s just be honest and call the “news” aggregation websites what they really are: LIBERAL news aggregation websites.

David Campbell
David Campbell
27 days ago

These kinds of tactics can only work if you the individual allow them to. Once you learn to recognize propaganda for what it is, it will no longer influence you. You will discount and avoid it. How?

  1. Think for yourself. “They” aren’t really any smarter than you are. The idea of an “elite” is an illusion “they” want you to believe. If it doesn’t make sense, there is a good chance it’s propaganda. Example: “Triump is a danger to Democracy”. Trump was president already. He did not destroy Democracy or become a tyrant. Pure propaganda. (Biden has done far more to destroy Democracy than what they accuse Trump of.)
  2. Understand that we now live in a sea of lies. Assume you are being lied to, even from “trustworthy” sources, until they prove what they are saying. (And a bunch of other sources saying “yep, they’re right” is not proof; facts are. Sometimes those are hard to come by and or they have been cherry picked or manipulated; that in itself is a red flag.)
  3. Become a truth searcher. Admit that in many cases you simply don’t know. Don’t accept taking a position someone else has fed you because you feel like you need to have an opinion. The act of searching for truth will make you more sensitive to recognizing the lies when you see them and the truth when you see that.
  4. Understand that the truth is not likely simple and has many facets. “Climate change” is like this. Although the political push for drastic changes and all the apocalyptic talk is political deceit, that doesn’t mean it is 100% lies. (That is the real tragedy about the whole issue, the actual science is being drowned out by the political.)
  5. The “your truth, my truth” thing is a philosophically bankrupt idea. There is only one truth. However, that truth CAN be viewed from many viewpoints. Example: Capitalism. Truth: it is the best system ever devised by Man to lift the most people out of poverty than any other by far.Facts: Capitalism is not perfect; Capitalism does not work in 100% of the cases; there are aspects of Capitalism that need to be curbed. In other words, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, “Capitalism is the worst form of economic system, except for all of the other systems.” (he originally said that about Democracy, but Democracy and Capitalism are necessary to each other.)
Rob citizenship
Rob citizenship
27 days ago

Very important topic Mr. Flanigan , what you wrote about here should be appreciated by anyone who values truth. These aggregators – could also be called opportunists – political opportunists , those who have no loyalty to any political belief , except what benefits their own interests , those who will say they are Republican in January and if need be will become Democrat in February – those who pretend to be Conservative one month and will then turn Liberal the following month — as long as it profits them, as long as it advances their own interests . Those of us who believe in having political beliefs that are for the good of the Country, who have values that advance a philosophy , an ideology ,based on a set of moral beliefs , and have principles – like Honor, Honesty, Integrity, Courage and Loyalty – will be able to distinguish truth better because we have a foundation to stand on – such as respect for the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights of the Constitution. I believe in the Eleven Principles of a Reagan Conservative – most important being Limited Government and Faith, Family and Freedom . Great article Aaron , Well done !

Bob Olden
Bob Olden
27 days ago

My experience is that when I Google a news topic about almost anything, all I see is mainstream media outlets at the top of the page. I refuse to watch any of that crap. If scroll down 10 pages there might be a conservative media outlet I can recognize. It is so obvious what they do!

Mark Maple
Mark Maple
27 days ago

Dont worry Aaron their dropping like fly’s, they can’t seem to resist being bought

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