Jun 15, 2018
Media critics called the premise of a meeting between Facebook and the Republican Party into question on Friday, as executives from the tech giant arrived in Washington, D.C. to discuss alleged censorship of conservative voices with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and other party officials.
The discussion centered on pushing a claim that Media Matters has called "false and harmful" and which the group said Friday has been categorically debunked: that conservatives are being targeted for censorship by Facebook and other social media platforms.
\u201c.@GOPLeader McCarthy is on @foxandfriends still claiming that Facebook is censoring Diamond & Silk. \n\nThis story has been a hoax from day 1, and Republicans have kept pushing it (for months!) anyway.\u201d— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1529063705
The meeting was also attended by Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and Brad Parscale, who has already been named as the manager of President Donald Trump's 2020 reelection campaign.
Pointing to research by NewsWhip and Nieman Lab, Media Matters noted that "no systematic targeting of conservatives on Facebook" has been detected, and that "users across the political spectrum have seen their Facebook page views decline since the platform rolled out algorithm changes in January."
Media Matters president Angelo Carusone summed up why Americans should be concerned about Facebook's insistence on indulging conservatives in their false claims of unfair treatment by the company.
\u201c2/ For starters: There is no anti-conservative bias at Facebook. We actually have the data. It\u2019s provably false. If Media Matters has this data, then Facebook definitely does.\nThey should know better.\u201d— Angelo Carusone (@Angelo Carusone) 1529069601
\u201c3/ Facebook meeting with Parscale about anti-conservative bias and they way they\u2019ve been handling this continues to validate this bogus right-wing claim. And shows that Facebook has not learned lessons from 2016 and is too interested in mollifying right wing.\u201d— Angelo Carusone (@Angelo Carusone) 1529069601
\u201c4/ In May 2016, right wing cried censorship. Zuckerberg met Ingraham, Glenn Beck, Tucker Carlson, etc.. Then he made a change to policy that greatly contributed to fake news problem.\u201d— Angelo Carusone (@Angelo Carusone) 1529069601
\u201c5/ So why is right-wing doing this: It\u2019s all about gaming the refs. They did it to news media in 90s and early 2000s. Cries of liberal bias, media overcompensate, which hurts for us all. Now they\u2019re doing it with tech companies. You should care.\u201d— Angelo Carusone (@Angelo Carusone) 1529069601
The meeting follows the formation of a partnership between Facebook and former Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) as well as the conservative Heritage Foundation, aimed specifically at rooting out any liberal biases at the company.
As ThinkProgressreported last month, while both left-wing and right-wing groups have seen their traffic from the social media platform plummet, "Facebook's bias study, according to Facebook, will not include any liberals...Facebook did not answer questions from ThinkProgress about why liberals were excluded from the process or whether this incentivizes conservatives to continue to make false charges of bias."
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