The Secondhand Censorship Effect: The Real Impact of Big Tech’s Thought-Policing


In recent years, Big Tech has consistently discriminated against independent thinkers and conservatives by online censorship. It has affected every person, including the ex-president of the United States and everyday women.

When Big Tech companies censor someone, they don’t only block that one person. But they also block all of that person’s followers from new ideas and viewpoints.

This phenomenon is best thought of as “secondhand censorship.” The number of times users have had their information withheld from them on social media is called secondhand censorship.

MRC Free Speech America used our unique CensorTrack database to track the impact of secondhand censorship. Across seven Big Tech platforms – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn and Spotify – MRC Free Speech America logged a grand total of The first quarter of 2022 was a record-breaking time for social media users. They were kept inaccessible at 144,301713 times..

Calculating the secondhand censorship effects by adding followers to each account at the time of every censorship case in a quarter, MRC did so. 

This is the secondhand censorship effect that we have found and were informed of for the quarter 2022. It is a small fraction of total secondhand censorship that takes place. 

Big Tech’s lack of transparency means that an incalculable amount of censorship – beyond what is shown in this report – takes place every day. 

MRC spent a lot of time preparing this report. We wanted to get accurate, firm statistics for the first quarter 2022. But we did not attempt to quantify the ongoing, current impacts of secondhand censorship spawned by social media companies’ permanent suspensions of certain users initiated in prior quarters. So, the report’s findings do not include people whose accounts were permanently suspended prior to the first quarter.

  • Trump’s silence on Twitter meant that his over 90 million followers couldn’t view his views on issues currently on the platform. The most striking, and perhaps boldest, example of social media’s censorship happened in January 2021. Then-President Donald Trump was banned from Twitter and Facebook in January 2021. According to Trump Twitter Archive, Trump tweets an average of 18 times per days during his presidency. That means secondhand censorship affected users 1,620,000,000 times in a single day stemming from Twitter’s ban of Trump’s account. MRC did not count the secondhand censorship associated with Trump’s continuing bans on Twitter or Facebook through the first quarter of 2022. The number would be close to 150 billion if we had.
  • Big Tech has permanently suspended accounts that are not listed in the report.Anterior New York TimesAlex Berenson is a journalist who had about 344,000 Twitter followersPrior to his August 2021 temporary suspension), Project Veritas, a Free Speech Alliance member (FSA), was suspended. 733,000 Twitter followersBefore its February 2021 suspension), and fellow FSA member, pro-life news outlet (which was followed by about 200,000 people before the platform suspended it permanently, according to a spokesperson for the group), all accounts were permanently suspended before the start of the quarter. The report doesn’t assess the impact of secondhandcensorship on these banned groups nor do it consider the times that they might have posted, tweeted or shared content.
  • Streaming platform Spotify removed approximately 70 episodes of comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast, but that tells only a portion of the story. In MRC’s count, we tallied only one instance of censorship against Rogan for Spotify’s removal of at least 70 episodes from the platform in February following Rogan’s past uses of the N-word. According to MRC, Rogan’s Spotify podcasts had an estimated 11 million listeners. Daily Mail Fox News New York Post reporting. Had MRC added each of the other 69 removed episodes and multiplied that by the number of viewers Rogan had at the time of each video’s removal, the secondhand censorship effect total would have been 770 million.

Each time Big Tech censors an account or its posts, all of that account’s followers suffer the effects of secondhand censorship.

This is the untold story of censorship – “secondhand censorship.”

National policymakers and the American public must act now to end Big Tech companies’ authoritarian practices against those who confront the status quo.

Big Tech censorship’s added impacts, otherwise known as secondhand censorship, affect social media users around the world. Social media users are prevented from learning about new information and considering alternative viewpoints to those that support the leftist view on current issues.




From Facebook and Twitter booting former President Donald Trump to Big Tech’s coordinated suppression of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story, Big Tech has consistently engaged in blatant, forceful efforts to police the thoughts of conservative and free-thinking social media users in recent years.

MRC identified 172 individual cases of direct censorship logged in MRC Free Speech America’s CensorTrack database during the first quarter of 2022. CensorTrack has now logged a total of over 4,000 total cases of Big Tech’s direct censorship.

But when Big Tech companies censor an account or its posts, every one of the censored account’s followers are unable to see the perspectives of the targeted account, or the account’s posts are obscured such that they’re suppressed and more difficult to view. The consequences of this “secondhand censorship” are broad authoritarianism, mass thought-control and a restricted marketplace of ideas.

MRC Free Speech America determined that social media users had at most 144,301.713 instances of information being kept about them during the first quarter in 2022.CensorTrack data shows that it was a. 

CensorTrack was utilized by MRC for the calculation of how many social media users were affected every time Big Tech censored a user or their posts. MRC also tabulated the secondhand censorship per platform and topic.

Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter were the largest providers of secondhand censorship during the first quarter in 2022. Facebook suffered more secondhandcensorship during that period than any other social media platform. MRC Free Speech America used our CensorTrack data to determine that Facebook users were affected 86,764,526, YouTube users 23,543,230, and Twitter users 17065,054 in the first quarter.

MRC found Spotify users were also affected by secondhand censorship. 11,000,000Insta users are a growing number of times 3,828,826TikTok users have been around for a while 2,083,866 LinkedIn users and times 16,211 The first quarter of 2022 saw the most activity.

Secondhand censorship in the first quarter spread across the subjects of War and alleged violence, Race, transgenderism, COVID-19 Abortion, which are highlighted in MRC’s CensorTrack database.


In the three first months of 2022, allegedly violent or war-related material was subject to more secondhand censorship than any other area. MRC counted In total, 19 cases have been filed of censorship for allegedly violent or war-related material. Customers26366,632 instances of secondhand censorship during the quarter

YouTube put two content filters onto a Fox News Fox News video featuring former Rep. Tulsi (D-HI), as well as Fox News host Laura Ingraham, about the Ukraine War. As noted in CensorTrack’s March 9 CensorTrack entry. 

Gabbard stated that The Ingraham AngleUkrainian President Volodymyr ZelenskyAccording to reports, he was open to negotiations for a compromise with the Russian President Vladimir PutinEnd the war 

YouTube used content filters to chide Fox News subscribers, suggesting that the video “may be inappropriate,” and that the YouTube “community” had identified the video as “inappropriate or offensive.” 

Secondhand censorship translated to Fox News’s 9,180,000 YouTube subscribers being prohibited from viewing potentially pivotal news About a path to peace for the Ukraine War This incident prevented a common understanding on an acceptable way out from the war.

An0maly is an independent artist from hip hop and video producer. He claims that Instagram, TikTok and YouTube each removed him once in the first quarter. The artist also stated that Big Tech had censored news videos of him posting about the Ukraine War.

“I just had my @Instagram (@InstagramCommsDemonetization of the. account to ensure accurate reporting [on] the Russia/Ukraine conflict,” he tweetedMarch 13. An0maly asked if Instagram and TikTok collaborated to censor him because they both acted simultaneously.

An0maly had 421,000 Instagram followers and 130,200 TikTok followers at the time of the platforms’ censorship of him in mid-March. Put together, secondhand censorship affected An0maly’s followers 551,200 times combined across the rapper’s two accounts.

Twitter also censored a war commentator in another act of war-related censorship Todd StarnesAs a result, censorship was also used to smear his 192,000 Followers with secondhand censorship.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) suggested the platform lock Starnes’s account. The lock followed Swalwell’s suggestion and a Starnes tweet calling out President Joe Biden’s reportedly poor vetting of Afghan refugees when they immigrated to the U.S. following the Biden administration’s botched military withdrawal from Afghanistan, according to a screenshot sent to MRC Free Speech America.


With regard to race, there were many examples of woke Big Tech censorship. Actions ranged from Spotify retroactively removing some of comedian Joe Rogan’s podcasts to Facebook blocking monetization of a Babylon Bee Music video parodying Black Lives Matter (BLM riots). Chalkboard Review member of the Free Speech Alliance (FSA), which is opposed to Marxist critical racism theory (CRT), was suspended by Twitter.

MRC counts 12 instances of Big Tech’s direct censorship of content that is related to raceIn the first quarter. The followers of these accounts were affected by secondhandcensorship 13,433,845 times across multiple platforms.

Most race-related secondhand censorship during the first quarter came when Spotify removed approximately 70 episodes of Rogan’s podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience” in February. When the streaming platform removed those episodes, the effects of secondhand censorship cascaded across Rogan’s reported 11,000,000Spotify per-episode Pay attention to your listeners.

Rogan’s past use of the N-word over the roughly 10-year course of his podcast reportedly ignited a furor across Spotify’s workforce. These comments reportedly even prodded Spotify CEO. Daniel Ek into writing a memo to employees saying that the “hurtful” comments “do not represent the values of this company,” according to Axios.

Just after a video collage of Rogan’s use of the N-word came out, MRC found that leftist PatriotTakes, the group behind the video’s release, partnered with leftist SuperPAC MeidasTouch. MeidasTouch was funded in part by Bette Miler, an actress with a long history of politically unhinged behavior. This was demonstrated in a May 24-th tweet. read, in part: “DON’T SAVE FETUSES ONLY TO HAVE THEM DIE AT SCHOOL BECAUSE YOU LOVE YOUR GUNS MORE THAN LIFE!  BRING HORROR!!” This wasn’t censored, of course.

But the secondhand censorship we counted for Rogan represents a small fraction of the total impact of Spotify’s actions. MRC counted only one case of censorship to represent the one fell swoop in which the podcaster’s approximately 70 episodes were removed from the platform in February. If MRC had counted a different censorship case per each episode that was removed, then the total secondhand censorship effect would have reached 770 million.

Spotify also censored Rogan. Facebook then targeted race-related content multiple times. This included by restricting the monetization a music video made by The Babylon Bee, calling out BLM riots in summer 2020.

Babylon Bee released a music clip called “Seasons of Blood” that parodied Seasons of Love (which lasted 525,600 minutes of BLM Riots).

The song lamented the media reaction to the Capitol riot on Jan 6, 2021 and the insufficient response to the BLM protests of the same year. According to the video, 22 BLM rioters were killed and hundreds of black business destroyed by BLM rioters. Meanwhile, Vice President Kamala Harris advocated a bail fund of $35 million that would bail out criminals.

According to a screenshot, Facebook limited the video’s monetization “due to one/more policy violations.” tweetedThe Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon.

Twitter joined Facebook when it censored a member of the MRC Free Speech Alliance in February. It suspended The Chalkboard Review. This journal actively opposed CRT.

Chalkboard Review informed MRC by email that Twitter hadn’t “given any warning nor reasons for our account having violated guidelines.” It stated that it had “discovered” that Twitter was violating guidelines after suspending the account. [National Education Association (NEA)]In January, teachers union reached out to social media companies to request that they help “crack down” on anti-CRT propaganda.

Twitter suspended Chalkboard Review’s Twitter account on February 4, after Twitter found it was not “in violation” of Twitter’s rules, according to a snapshot. Chalkboard Review was not affected. noted It had lost all of its followers.

“Our account has just been unsuspended by Twitter,” the account tweeted Feb. 4. “They cite that our account ‘does not appear to be in violation of the Twitter Rules’. “We have lost all our followers and now we’re starting the verification process to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”


Published CensorTrack entries show Big Tech directly suppressed content critical of the left’s transgender narrative 22 times. These direct cases of censorship led to an aggregate of 11.964,958 Times that CustomersSocial media users had access to information that was not available.

This is the best example of Secrecy of content critical of the left’s transgender narrative happened when Twitter Removing a posting, ImpactingThe 4,990,000. Followers of Fox News Tucker Carlson.

Carlson tweeted apparent screenshots of Twitter’s restriction notices sent to FSA member The Babylon Bee Charlie Kirk, a conservative commentator who also serves as a board advisor at MRC Free Speech America & CensorTrack.

Twitter blocked The Babylon Bee and Kirk accounts because they called transgender U.S. Assistant health Secretary Rachel Levine men.

The Babylon Bee and Kirk’s followers were affected by secondhand censorship 1,300,000 and 1700,000, respectivelyThis one incident was the only reason.

Carlson was the only one who could be trusted. tweeted that both The Babylon Bee’s and Kirk’s tweets about Levine’s gender “are true.” Twitter claimed this post violated its rules, according to records for Carlson’s Twitter page on March 22, and all of Carlson’s 4,990,000 followers weren’t allowed to see his post.

Other notable times secondhand censorship affected users stemming from content critical of the left’s transgender narrative on social media in the first quarter included:

  • Twitter suspension The Daily Wire commentator Matt Walsh in JanuaryTwitter banned Walsh from tweeting about the best female Jeopardy champ, top college swimmer and first female four star admiral in U.S. Public Health Service were men. (Secondhand censorship affected users 771 300 times). In the post, Walsh also noted: “The patriarchy wins in the end.”
  • Twitter banned Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton three times in March: The censorship happened over the course of two days – March 17-18. Paxton first called Levine “a man”, then he called him Emma Weyant “the real champion of the Division 1 NCAA women’s 500-yard freestyle” after she lost the first place spot to transgender swimmer Lia Thomas. Twitter reacted with astonishment to these limitations. censored a press release from Paxton’s office criticizing Big Tech censorship. These 3 instances of Twitter silencing Paxton translate to 532 800 times users using social media kept their information secret.


Big Tech’s suppression of alternative viewpoints regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and COVID-19 continued into the first quarter 2022, despite declining cases and a loosening of vaccination mandates and masking.

Tech platforms sought total control over information related to COVID-19’s origins, the usefulness of cloth masks in preventing the virus’s spread, efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines and local government policies on supposed COVID-19 prevention. This Big Tech totalitarianism meant that social media users weren’t permitted to critically analyze pandemic-related information on a factual basis.

Twitter even removed a news story about a peer reviewed study that showed vaccine materials could transform into human DNA. 

Just the News reported March 3, on a Swedish study showing that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination can be converted to DNA in human liver cells. 

However, readers of Just the News were prevented from reading about the study. 

All 860,000 of Just the News founders John Solomon’s Twitter followers weren’t allowed to read a March 3 news story covering the Swedish study. The censorship may have made it difficult for COVID-19 patients to access the appropriate care. The censored story’s subheadline also noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claimed “the vaccine” could not turn into DNA.

Big Tech’s prejudicial The number of subscribers who subscribed to second-hand censorship rose by 193,000 Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show Use YouTube refused to post the political commentators’ interview of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). Paul challenged the left’s narrative, saying there was no logical reason for vaccine mandates to continue, given Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla’s statement that the first two doses ineffectively protected against the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

“We have to stand up for ourselves,” Paul said. 

Big Tech censors targeted also grassroots protestors for COVID-19 mandates. 

Facebook removed a group of grassroots protestors against U.S. COVID-19 orders, apparently following the lead of Justin Trudeau (Canadian Prime Minister) and was ruthless in cracking down on those who were protesting his government’s COVID-19 mandates. This is recorded in a CensorTrack post dated February 1, 2012. This group was supposed to bring together truckers across America to oppose pandemic-related regulations. 

Though the effort appeared designed to stop the convoy from picking up enough steam to cram the streets of D.C., Facebook absurdly claimed it shut down the group for “repeatedly” violating “policies around QAnon,” Reclaim The Net reported.

When you combine them, Secrecy What the heck? 137,000 Facebook followers of the “Convoy to DC,” cramping plans for an organized protest.


Big Tech was pro-choice in its first quarter.

Instagram and Twitter are two platforms that have impeded messages for ending the murder of unborn children.

Big Tech’s censorship of posts critical of abortion resulted in That’s 86,469. CustomersSocial media users had access to information in the first quarter., according to data logged in MRC’s CensorTrack database.

Twitter censored Crisis Magazine Editor-in-Chief Eric Sammons’s faith-based criticism of secular norms in March, according to a March 29 CensorTrack entry.

“Just a reminder: Homosexual activity is a sin,” the head of the Catholic magazine tweeted. “Transgenderism is a mental illness. “Abortion is murder.”

Twitter locked Sammons’s account for a few days, claiming “hateful conduct,” until Sammons deleted the tweet.

Twitter’s censorship of Sammons resulted in his followers being affected by secondhand censorship 16,600 times with this one act of censorship.

Instagram’s censorship of pro-life posts hit close to home in January, as the platform It didn’t work2.490 fansTierin Rose Mandelburg, MRC researcher and Tierin Rose Mandelburg is Tierin Rose Mandelburg’s January post from the National March for Life.

“63 million murders for convenience is 63 million too many,” Mandelburg captioned her post. “Let’s make this the last year we gotta march for ALL life! Roe gotta go!”

Instagram removed the post because it supposedly violated its “Community Guidelines,” it said, adding some people “may be sensitive” to “different things.” 

Within an hour after requesting a review, the platform had restored the post. 



CensorTrack flagged Meta (formerly Facebook) as having inflicted massive amounts of secondhand censorship in the first quarter of 2022 —More than any other platform.

The platform’s censorship resulted in users experiencing secondhand censorship In the first quarter, 86,627 526 timesAccording to the MRC CensorTrack data, it is.

Facebook was under immense pressure from leftist groups to remove content that is considered conservative. 

A 1,000-company leftist coalition called “Stop Hate for Profit” boycotted Facebook ads in June 2020 to push the platform to suppress then-President Trump’s posts in the leadup to the 2020 election. Facebook responded to the pressure by imposing a policy to remove certain Trump posts that were subjectively considered to be intimidating or violent. 

Eventually, Facebook canceled Trump’s account.

Meta (then Facebook) announced partnerships with “third-party fact-checkers” just after the COVID-19 pandemic started in March 2020. Facebook’s fact-checking network members are part of the leftist Poynter-headed International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN). 

Fact-checking is one of Facebook’s main methods of censoring views that counter the left’s narrative about political and social issues.

And that can at least be partly explained by the fact that billionaire leftist financier George Soros has donated lofty sums to that “fact-checking network,” which protects the liberal narrative.

Open Society Foundations records show that leftist billionaire George Soros contributed at least $467,000 to support Poynter’s IFCN between 2017 and 2019. 

In the weeks leading up to the 2020 election, liberally biased IFCN member and Facebook fact-checker Lead Stories released 18 “fact-checks” defending President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, even as the widely respected New York Post Report on the corruption of the Biden family’s business dealings in Ukraine, 2 1/2 weeks prior to the election

Facebook’s actions, partnerships and funding streams all indicate a massive effort to marginalize conservative and alternative views, restrict allowable debate and manipulate information flow. 

A sizable proportion – 44.2 percent – of IFCN members reported Facebook’s fact-checking program was their highest source of revenue last year, according to IFCN’s State of the Fact-Checkers 2021 report.


YouTube, a Google subsidiary was acquired by the Second-largest culprit for secondhand censorship in the first 3 months of 2011.

Across all topic areas, including content that questioned the left’s narrative on COVID-19, YouTube’s censorship resulted in users being affected by secondhand censorship 235433230 times during the first quarterAccording to MRC CensorTrack statistics, the answer is “Yes.” 

YouTube is under pressure like Facebook to restrict alternative views.

For instance, while IFCN is an official Facebook partner, in January Poynter’s “fact-checking” network also called for YouTube to take harsher censorship measures against COVID-19 content that questioned the left’s narrative. 

It obliged.

MRC counts 14 first-quarter instances in which YouTube directly censored content questioning the left’s narrative on COVID-19 and content critical of COVID-19 vaccinations. Users were subject to secondhandcensorship as a result. 2,787 3,337 times For COVID-19-related content, the platform was unavailable from January to March. This meant that broad swaths of YouTube users weren’t given critical facts to help them make important decisions about their health care.

Conservative talkshow host, 2022 MRC Bulldog Award Winner for Outstanding Podcast Dan Bongino’s censorship alone resulted in secondhand censorship affecting users 1.764,989 Times in the First Quarter. That number was the sum total resulting from YouTube directly suppressing Bongino’s posts on the efficacy of masks and COVID-19 twice in January, according to CensorTrack data. 

YouTube took aim at Bongino and his nearly 900,000 subscribers after he claimed masks were “useless” in preventing the spread of COVID-19 on his podcast, The Dan Bongino Show.

YouTube suspended Bongino’s secondary page, and a company spokesperson reportedly told Forbes that the commentator “repeatedly” violated so-called “Advertiser-Friendly Guidelines on harmful and dangerous acts.”

Bongino tried later to upload video to his main channel, while his secondary channel was still suspended. 

YouTube permanently banned Bongino’s main channel for trying “to circumvent the suspension,” a platform spokesperson told MRC Free Speech America. 

“When a channel receives a strike, it is against our Terms of Service to post content or use another channel to circumvent the suspension,” the spokesperson said. “If a channel is terminated, the uploader is unable to use, own or create any other YouTube channels.”


Twitter, like every platform in the article, has two standards when it comes to what it considers offensive content. These double standards were a great help Twitter has the third-highest secondhand censorship countComparable to other social platforms in the initial quarter

Twitter’s flagrant biases on domestic political and international issues were evident in its first quarter. Seven dictators even had the right to publish freely on Twitter as MRC Free Speech America revealed in March. The platform’s censorship resulted in users being affected by secondhand censorship 17.065,054 times during the first quarter.

Russian officials used Twitter unimpeded to disseminate pro-Kremlin propaganda, and persuade users to support Russia’s ongoing invasion in Ukraine. GOP House lawmakers raised this issue with platform CEOs. Parag AgrawalIn an April letter, noting the inconsistency of the platform’s lax approach toward Russia in light of its permanent ban on Trump.

Twitter does not encourage the dissemination of tyrannical ideologies among its users. However, the company has removed a posting showing an example death threat Post Millennial Editor Andy Ngo stated he received.

Twitter prevented Ngo’s followers from seeing a distress call he sounded after he said he received an emailed death threat in February. This one action alone resulted in Ngo’s followers being affected by secondhand censorship 976,300 times.

“Andy, I’m hopeful that someone puts a bullet in your head,” the email read. “That would be hilarious!!!! Die motherf**er….. die.”

Twitter claimed it removed the tweet for violating the platform’s rules against posting private information, even though Ngo said he was the victim – not the aggressor. The Post Millennial tweeted that an “obviously fake email address” was “attached to” the death threat email.

Twitter’s secondhand censorship took another big splash when the platform censored Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) for sharing an adverse event comparison of various COVID-19 treatments.

Users were subject to secondhand censorship as a result of this direct action This page has been viewed 290,300 times, as Johnson’s Twitter followers weren’t permitted to read valuable information about potential alternative COVID-19 treatments.

Johnson tweeted“Sadly, two landmarks were reached on VAERS [Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System]. There have been over 1 million adverse effects and 21,000 deaths. 33% of the deaths resulted from complications that occurred within the first and second days after vaccination. Are federal agencies going to be more transparent? They continue to disregard early treatment.

His tweet included a graphic that showed the numbers of adverse events, deaths and average annual deaths recorded for Ivermectin (hydroxychloroquine), the flu vaccines (flu vaccines) and Remdesivir.

Twitter warned users about the tweet and asked them to learn why COVID-19 vaccines are considered safe.

It also banned users from commenting, liking, tweeting or sharing the tweets.


Big Tech censorship’s added impacts, otherwise known as secondhand censorship, affect social media users around the world. This practice stops social media users from getting new information or considering views that are contrary to the current leftist narrative.

The liberal establishment was able to move forward on many topics by reducing secondhand censorship. Those topics include – but are by no means limited to – transgenderism, COVID-19, abortion, race and war.

National policymakers and the American public must act now to end Big Tech companies’ authoritarian practices against those who confront the status quo.

The world’s people deserve it. This is essential to the survival of America’s republic. Liberty requires it.

Heather Moon assisted with this report.

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