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While President Trump continues to lash out against the majority of the mainstream media, calling them ‘fake news’ and ‘frauds,’ there is one mainstream news organization which Trump instead seems to promote — Fox News has been a favorite of Trump’s for many months now. The President retweets video clips from Fox & Friends and Hannity on a regular basis, and according to the New York Times, the President communicates with the Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox, Rupert Murdoch, ‘almost daily’.
“The president’s relationship with Mr. Murdoch is deeper and more enduring than most in his life, and the two commiserate and plot strategy in their phone calls, according to people close to both,” the New York Times said earlier this year.
If you are like myself, then you enjoy reading some of the feuds that takes place within the comments sections of various mainstream media news websites. While such comments can often drive one insane, they can also be very informative. In between the left vs. right cyberbashing, there usually are key facts which often can change the narrative of a story. User comments make sure the full story is told. If for instance, Fox News leaves out a key detail of a story, one can usually uncover it from the citizen journalists leaving the comments below the article. This is why what has been discovered last night is not only shocking, but incredibly damning to the structure of a free press.
Yesterday afternoon a Reddit user discovered that Fox News was censoring comments to protect Trump Jr. Fox is apparently selectively censoring a specific “factual” sentence that went against their narrative on the Trump Jr. email story. If you may have noticed, most of the reporting by Fox News on this scandal left out a key portion of the email sent from Rob Goldstone to Trump Jr. This section of the email, which claimed that the Russian Government wanted to provide damaging information on the DNC and Hillary Clinton, in an effort to help Trump win the election, can be seen below:
“This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
What this Reddit user discovered, was that Fox News had auto-censored this very sentence from their user comments board. Whenever a user would post that sentence, the comment would initially show up for them, but if they were to log out and view the comments as a guest or in another browser, the comment actually was never posted. As you can see below, shortly after the user made two posts, both posts showed while they were logged in, but once logged out only the second post appears.
This Reddit user then decided to test how quickly Fox was actually censoring new material. He decided to change a few letters in the email sentence in question and post it. This time the new, slightly edited version of the sentence did appear, but within ten minutes that too had been censored.
“I changed out some vowels to áéí etc and it posted. But not ten minutes later even that was added to the filter,” wrote ‘EfAllNazis’. “Fox News was actively ensuring their audience never saw those words. Verify yourself, post that sentence from any account, then open up a second browser program (don’t sign in) and you’ll see every comment except yours.”
While nothing here that Fox is doing is illegal on its face, the fact that they may be working with the President of the United States, who allegedly speaks to the Executive Chairman of the company ‘almost daily’, certainly brings up questions of First Amendment violations as well as conflicts of interests. The video below shows more proof of what Fox is doing: