About half of Hillary Clinton’s supporters in 2016 didn’t have any close friends who supported Donald Trump. The result is that partisans tend to see the other party as actively harmful to the country.
.. Critiques predicated on making insincere claims to affect future behavior is referred to as “working the referees.” Social media companies aren’t as used to this tactic.
.. The video shows senior executives expressing frustration about Trump’s victory, certainly, but as Gizmodo notes, several of those executives are themselves immigrants. There’s no discussion about the company actively working to squelch opposing viewpoints through its technology. That’s simply presented by Parscale as an almost natural extension of the political views expressed by the company executives.
In other words, Parscale seems to be assuming (or is at least suggesting) that the executives’ views alone are evidence that the tools are biased against their political opponents.
.. If you assume that Democrats are all hyper-ideological and an active threat to the country, you’re probably less prone to give a Democrat (or, for that matter, a Trump critic) the benefit of the doubt that they’re acting objectively. Particularly when sources you trust are arguing constantly that those individuals’ actions aren’t objective and fair.
.. Does Attorney General Jeff Sessions truly think that tech companies are biased against conservatives? Is he simply working the refs? Is he trying to score much-needed points with his boss, for whom this is a regularly cited issue? It’s hard to say. Among rank-and-file Republicans, though, it’s likely that concern about and skepticism of the political left makes it much easier for them to assume that Google’s executives aren’t just lamenting Trump’s presidency on video but also actively trying to cripple it behind the scenes.
There’s an irony undergirding all of this, particularly Parscale’s tweet. During the 2016 campaign, Parscale ran the Trump team’s digital advertising efforts, which included spending tens of millions of dollars on Facebook ads, leveraging Facebook staff who embedded with the campaign to guide their strategy. Of all the ways in which Facebook directly and indirectly helped Trump win the presidency, none was more important than that ad-buying partnership, as Parscale well knows.
In other words, Parscale certainly knows how to work tech companies for Trump’s political benefit. In 2018, though, positioning those liberal-run companies as inherently biased is a better use of his political capital.