Allegations that major social media networks have left-leaning biases have loomed large, and now Instagram — which is owned by Facebook — is providing a potential 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidate with a major opportunity to reach young people.
The social media giant is working with former Vice President Joe Biden on a 10-episode short-form series titled “Here’s the Deal.”
It has one objective in mind: Get millennials out to the polls for the midterm elections.
In the series produced by ATTN, a company founded by left-wing political activist Matthew Segal, Biden will touch on a handful of political issues such as health care, education, gun control, and jobs.
“These days, there’s a lot of fluff and misinformation to distract us from the real issues,” Biden says in the show’s trailer.
“That’s why I am partnering with ATTN on IGTV (Instagram TV) to break down the issues we all should be voting on this fall. Not complicated policy wonk language or confusing acronyms — just facts.”
Discussing Biden’s new series Wednesday night on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle,” Fox News contributor Raymond Arroyo noted he does not see Biden as the vibrant type who will get young people to the polls.
“How is this going to attract young voters?” Arroyo said to host Laura Ingraham. “I feel like he’s going to sell me a reverse mortgage.”
The first episode of the series aired on Wednesday, September 12, on Instagram’s IGTV app.
On the app, verified users — including Biden — can upload videos, each up to 60 minutes long. On the regular Instagram site, users can upload only videos that are up to 60 seconds long.
Initially, Biden’s videos will stay on IGTV exclusively for the first 24 hours after they’re uploaded. Afterward, however, they will also be uploaded to his Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts.
“If you’re going to do political punditry on Instagram, where’s the Newt Gingrich channel, the Dick Cheney channel?” Arroyo asked on “The Ingraham Angle.” “Have balance! It’s unfair.”
Although there are four living Republican current and former U.S. vice presidents (George H.W. Bush, Dan Quayle, Dick Cheney, and Mike Pence), Instagram has afforded none of them the same opportunity as Biden.
Quite to the contrary, many social media sites have throttled conservative content.
The Center for Immigration Studies even reported on Tuesday that the site would not allow it to promote tweets featuring the term “illegal aliens,” arguing it violated its “Hateful Conduct Policy.”
1/ Twitter is not allowing us to promote any tweets including the phrase "illegal alien(s)", citing it as Hateful Content. However, the phrase "illegal aliens" has been used in both federal law and by the Supreme Court.
— Center for Immigration Studies (@CIS_org) September 11, 2018
Facebook has changed its news feed algorithms — which has caused conservative websites to see a 14 percent drop in traffic through the site, while liberal sites have received a 2 percent increase.
Then there’s YouTube, a site that has been accused of treating conservative creators like Steven Crowder and Dennis Prager unfairly by demonetizing and restricting much of their content.
At the same time, however, the site is partnering with The Young Turks — a foul-mouthed leftist channel spearheaded by Cenk Uygur — and giving them a 24-hour channel on YouTube TV. YouTube also works with the Anti-Defamation League to police speech it deems “hateful” on its platform.
“These things are all left-wing,” Ingraham concluded on “The Ingraham Angle.”
“They always have been. Social media has been dominated by the Left.”
Check out the full “Ingraham Angle” segment below about Biden’s new show:
Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, and other outlets.