GOPUSA.com says they believe in free speech.
We discovered their site through a HackerNews link on Mastodon that shared an article of theirs, “Google’s ‘Good Censor’ Document: The End of Free Speech as We Know It?”. In the article they state complaints such as:
Apparently, Google and companies like Facebook and Twitter feel that it is their job to tell you what you should or should not believe and what you should or should not read.
Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo in 2017 wrote, “[Twitter is] the free speech wing of the free speech party.”…I guess all those conservatives who were shadow banned and who continue to have their content limited didn’t get Costolo’s memo.
And other comments, such as:
Free speech should always be celebrated, and we’ve all come to realize through documented examples that when Google or Facebook or Twitter talks about removing “harmful content” from its platform, what that really means is removing or limiting conservative content…As freedom-loving Americans, we must continue to point out the obvious bias in these social media platforms.
But it seems that GOPUSA.com is interested in removing and limiting non-conservative content.
Though not a social media platform, GOPUSA.com’s About page says:
GOPUSA strives to educate, enlighten, and engage conservatives through a host of features and services including news, online discussions, commentary, and information.
We strive to be the first source Republicans and conservatives turn to for news and information, both at the state and national levels.
All content, products, and services delivered by GOPUSA reflect our dedication to professionalism, quality, and innovation.
Our Comment Content
We were fairly courteous and respectful in most of our comments. Most of our comments called for fair looks at both sides. We provided commentary on joining the left and the right for a better America.
Their commentors weren’t interested, and apparently neither are they.
Their site exists for one thing and one thing only: to hate on the left.
They are not interested in making America better. They’re interested in politics as a spectator sport. They want their team to win, no matter what.
How we know we were Shadow Banned
First, it started off as a new registered user that we had to wait for our comments to be approved. No problem, and totally understandable! Don’t want spam or any actually toxic crap coming through. We agree with the stance of moderating comments.
After we posted a few comments that waited to be moderated, we were approved enough that we could post w/out need for moderation. We did this for a day or so.
After that, we were back in the moderation queue. It was probably because they posted an article about all the violence from the left, without mentioning any of the right, and we provided a short list of reported violence from the right. They didn’t like that, presumably because they’re only interested in showing one side, their side, to every story.
At this point we thought “You know what, they stand true to their principals. They have been letting us post stuff that clearly clashes with their world view, and we’ve been polite, so…they truly do believe in free speech.”
We decided to leave a comment, back on that original Google censorship article, commending them on this.
But our comment didn’t go through. It didn’t get held for moderation. It just…disappeared. The page refreshed and the comment never appeared.
So, we tried another browser. Same thing.
We tried a third browser. Same thing. We can log in. We can see our old comments, change our profile information, and do everything else a user can…except comment.
Not even held for moderation. They just disappear.
So much for being defenders of the right to free speech.
That’s it. Freedom of speech has died with the hypocrisy of GOPUSA.com.
- They’re also running an outdated theme and an outdated version of WordPress, which mean there are various security flaws in their site and most likely outdated plugins which also contain security holes. We reached out to have one of our experts help them out, but they didn’t respond.
- The commentors weren’t much better. They complained about how Google, Facebook, and Twitter are “liberal bias media” (as they perceive it), but were unwilling to make any changes to their habits of using said platforms.
They don’t actually care about what they say they are fighting for if it means doing any small amount of research finding alternatives and learning something out of their comfort zone.