David French, the “principled conservative” who argued drag queen story hours in libraries are “blessings of liberty,” publicly confirmed last week that he’s personally advised Big Tech platforms on how to suppress the speech of people who disagree with leftists.
“A few years ago I was invited to an off-the-record meeting with senior executives at a major social media company,” reads the Atlantic contributor and Dispatch senior editor’s first sentence. In 2020, The Dispatch became a paid censor to help Facebook suppress conservative ideas using the pretense of “factchecking.”
As a Facebook censor, The Dispatch has helped suppress true information in the service of leftist conversation control. This has included keeping accurate pro-life ads off Facebook in a way that protected the candidacy of Joe Biden and restricted nonviolent political speech. Dispatch CEO Steve Hayes also defended Facebook’s 2020 election interference in the form of throttling a true story about Hunter Biden’s corruption that may financially benefit his father.
Facebook launched its third-party fact-checking program in 2016. By 2020, more than 50 publications including French’s The Dispatch agreed to do Big Tech’s dirty censorship work. Throttlers like The Dispatch are tasked by Facebook “reduce the spread of misinformation and provide more reliable information to users.”
The pro-life advertisements The Dispatch blocked highlighted the abortion-until-birth positions of 2020 Democrats, including Joe Biden. At the time, the NeverTrump website claimed the ads included “partly false information.”
“Biden has not expressed support for late-term abortions—which, while not being a medical term, generally refers to abortions performed at 21 weeks or later. And neither candidate has voiced support for abortion ‘up to the moment of birth,’” the false Dispatch fact-check stated.
Shortly after The Federalist published an article amplifying the censorship, The Dispatch claimed that the fact check, which remained up on social media for three days before deletion, was still in “draft form” and was published in “error.”
That didn’t stop The Dispatch from continuing to take money to shut up conservatives and conservative causes. For their willingness to participate in Big Tech’s anti-free speech crusade, these suppressors are paid from Facebook’s more than $100 million “fact-checking” investment.
Publications like The Dispatch are not ashamed of their partnership with Facebook. In fact, there is clear indication on both The Dispatch and Facebook’s websites that they are proud to be advancing the goal of silencing anyone they deem problematic together.
Similarly, French is not ashamed of his partnership with Big Tech. If his writing indicates anything, French, the man infamous for performative outrage about the moral failures of Republicans like former President Donald Trump, basks in his role as a censor who can shut dissidents up with the click of a mouse.