Earlier this week, Gizmodo reported former staffers at Facebook alleged the company practices policies that discriminate against conservatives. Some Senate Republicans are not pleased about the allegations and are poised to try to do something about it.
“This week, the press is reporting claims by former Facebook staffers that employees of Facebook routinely suppressed conservative political viewpoints on the social network,” wrote Senate Commerce Committee chairman John Thune in a letter to the company’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg.
Demanding to know how Facebook’s news curation system works, Thune implied the company may be defrauding people “if Facebook presents its Trending Topics section as the result of a neutral, objective algorithm, but it is in fact subjective and filtered to support or suppress particular political viewpoints, Facebook’s assertion that it maintains a ‘platform for people and perspectives from across the political spectrum’ misleads the public.”
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Thune demanded action on Facebook’s part. “Facebook must answer these serious allegations and hold those responsible to account if there has been political bias in the dissemination of trending news,” Thune said.
He added in a later statement, “Any attempt by a neutral and inclusive social media platform to censor or manipulate political discussion is an abuse of trust and inconsistent with the values of an open Internet.”
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“The Senate is stupid for going after Facebook,” said Sean Davis, co-founder of the popular conservative website The Federalist in a series of tweets. But Davis did hit liberals for what he perceives as hypocrisy, adding that, “progressives are stupid for pretending government regulation offends their sensibilities.”
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