On Tuesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled by Nigel Farage during his testimony to the European Parliament. Farage, Breitbart said, accused Zuckerberg of “willful discrimination” against conservatives on the social media platform, and sugested the creation of a “Social Media Bill of Rights” to protect free speech.
“Historically, of course, it’s true, that through Facebook and other forms of social media there is no way that Brexit or Trump or the Italian elections could ever possibly have happened. It was social media that allowed people to get round the back of mainstream media,” Farage said.
“Perhaps you’re horrified by this creation of yours and what it’s led to, I don’t know. But what is absolutely true is that since January of this year, you’ve changed your modus operandi, you’ve changed your algorithms, and it has led directly to a very substantial drop in views and engagements for those who have got right-of-center political opinions.”
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“The facts are very clear. Just look at President Trump’s numbers, on a much smaller scale look at mine, look at thousands of other conservative commentators. On average, we’re down about 25 percent over the course of this year. That’s happening on a ‘platform for all ideas,’” he further said.
“I am not talking here, Mr. Zuckerberg, about extremism. I am not talking about encouraging violence. I am not talking about hatred of anybody. I’m talking about people who have majority, mainstream opinions … and frankly, I feel, they are being wilfully discriminated against.”
“What interests me is who decides what is acceptable? Who are these people you referred to earlier, these third-party fact checkers, who are these people? Why is there no transparency in this process at all?”
“I’m not generally somebody who calls for legislation on the international stage, but I’m beginning to wonder whether we need a social media bill of rights to basically protect free speech. I’m asking you today, very, very clearly that would you accept today that Facebook is not a platform for all ideas that is operated impartially?”
Some, like former Navy SEAL Craig “Sawman” Sawyer, who earlier called Silicon Valley progressives “modern-day book-burners,” noted that Facebook’s changes have impacted conservatives more than Farage stated:
Worse yet, Zuckerberg has told us there’ll be even more suppression on the platform.
Here’s video of Farage’s statement and Zuckerberg’s response.
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