On Monday, the National Center for Public Policy Research said that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sat mute after being confronted by a shareholder over anti-conservative bias.
“It was amateur hour as chaos and disorganization ruled the day at today’s Facebook meeting,” said National Center Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof, Esq, according to a press release issued by the group. “From the beginning – when the meeting didn’t even start on time – to the company’s inability to follow its own guidelines and agenda for the meeting, it was clear that Facebook’s management team had little respect for its investors in attendance. And the company’s continued denial that it has ever been biased against conservatives flies in the face of reality.”
“Despite the company’s protestations, it is quite clear that it continues to mistreat conservative groups and individuals. Most conservatives have known for years that Facebook is biased against them, but the evidence was largely anecdotal,” Danhof added. “However, in May, former Facebook workers went on the record and confirmed those suspicions, telling Gizmodo that the company routinely suppresses conservative news. Facebook was caught with its hand in the cookie jar and held one meeting with Glenn Beck and a few other conservatives to try to calm the waters. Today, we put Mr. Zuckerberg and the rest of Facebook’s leadership team on notice that one meeting with a few conservatives does not make up for the continuing mistreatment of conservative individuals and organizations.”
Here’s part of the question Danhof put to Zuckerberg:
Whether you’re willing to admit the company has a bias problem or if you think bias is merely a matter of perception, the fact is that perception is very often reality. Facebook has an extra duty to overcome this problem now that the company have been called out by former employees for targeting conservatives.
My question is this: what affirmative steps are in place to increase transparency regarding Facebook’s news section and its removal of pages and posts, and what do you have to say to the conservative individuals and groups who have been harmed – and continue to be harmed – by the company’s bias actions?
The entire question Danhof prepared can be seen here. Unfortunately, it was cut short because Facebook only allowed questioners one minute, despite having a small audience and the fact that most companies allow three minutes for questions.
Zuckerberg, Danhof said, sat mute and referred the question to another executive, who claimed that Facebook’s internal investigation exonerated the company.
Nevertheless, that executive said Facebook is making changes to its trending news section.
“Why is Facebook making the change (if) there is nothing wrong?” Danhof asked.
“When Facebook was caught red-handed targeting conservatives, the company self-selected a few conservative folks, held a meeting, and then thought the issue was over. If any conservative was likewise convinced that the issue is over and that Facebook is now playing it straight, today’s meeting should cause them pause. I am now more convinced that if Facebook employees are targeting conservatives – and there are legions of examples of this occurring – that Zuckerberg wouldn’t have a clue that it’s happening,” Danhof said.
“Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg clearly moves in an elitist Silicon Valley circle in which conservative thought and opinion is verboten. While it’s totally fine for him to engage in extreme leftwing politics and public policy issues in his personal life, as the CEO of a company whose role in the media landscape is growing, he should be aware that his personal actions are often applied to Facebook’s brand,” Danhof added. “If Zuckerberg’s goal is to make Facebook a media platform on par with MSNBC and the New York Times – where only far-left thought is allowed – then he should just be honest with his investors and consumers and say so. But if the company is going to claim that it presents the news objectively, it certainly has a long way to go.”
Issues like this are the reason that Adina Kutnicki, an investigative journalist based in Israel, and I wrote “Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad.” That book, endorsed by Pam Geller, president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, is set to be released this fall.
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