Mark Zuckerberg had to answer some tough questions while testifying recently before the United States Senate. The impetus to the whole scenario came about due to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
While most politicians concerned themselves with asking technical questions which appeared to make little sense, Texas Senator Ted Cruz stood out from the crowd by pressing Zuckerberg on a very real issue: Facebook’s discrimination of conservative and Christian groups.
Cruz started by asking Zuckerberg whether or not Facebook should be considered a neutral public forum, or instead one that regularly engages in political speech. Zuckerberg answered that the “goal” of the platform was “certainly not to engage in political speech.”
Cruz didn’t stop there, though. He further pushed Zuckerberg by stating that “a great many Americans were deeply concerned” that the platform had engaged in “pervasive pattern of bias and political censorship.”
During the questioning, Cruz backed up his accusations by citing several examples where Facebook seemingly suppressed conservative views. Cruz gave the Lois Lerner IRS scandal, the Conservative Political Action Conference, and many others as examples. He also brought up the fact that Facebook blocked more than two dozen Catholic pages, deemed conservative video bloggers Diamond and Silk as “unsafe for the community,” as well as doing away with the Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day page.
“To a great many Americans, that appears to be a pervasive pattern of political bias. Do you agree with that assessment?” Cruz asked.
Zuckerberg admitted that Cruz’s line of questioning was fair, especially considering the fact that Facebook’s headquarters happens to be located in “extremely left-leaning” Silicon Valley, per the Facebook founder’s own description. However, he claimed to make great efforts to root out the type of bias Cruz pointed out.
Cruz followed this up by asking Zuckerberg if he was aware of any instances where Facebook removed advertisements or pages associated MoveOn.org, Planned Parenthood or any other left-leaning political candidates or pages. Zuckerberg admitted that he was not. He also denied being privy to the political affiliations of any of the Facebook employees who were involved in reviewing content.
Zuckerberg ended his session of questions with Cruz by stating that he is proud of the platform.
“I’m very committed to making sure that Facebook is a platform for all ideas,” he said. “That’s a very important founding principle of what we do.”
Regardless of Zuckerberg’s intentions, according to LifeSiteNews, there have been several instances where Facebook has been caught silencing conservative and Christian speech, including the recent censorship of pro-life content. It has also been proven through analytics that many more right-leaning political blogs have seen significant drops in their traffic numbers during recent months, while mainstream media outlets like the New York Times and CNN have noted increased activity.
This means conservatives have to be that much more committed to discovering the truth amid the left-leaning information they are being shown. This is especially true when it comes to social media sites like Facebook. After all, just because all the ads, linked blogs or news stories seem to be pro left-leaning or anti-Trump doesn’t mean that is the reality since there is now proof of censorship when it comes to conservative views on social media. That doesn’t mean conservatives can’t use the platform as a way to state their opinion on their personal page, though. However, they shouldn’t be surprised if they are censored at some point for those views.
Zuckerberg’s Senate hearing took place after Facebook notified up to 87 million people that their information was improperly obtained via the Facebook platform by Cambridge Analytica. This breach occurred when over 50 million Facebook profiles were collected by the data company, allegedly aided by the Facebook platform.
~ 1776 Christian