As a number of conservatives and Republicans, including President Donald Trump, allege, political bias among the top tech companies, several individuals are sharing anecdotes they believe help prove their larger claim.
In a recent Fox Business Network interview, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said he had experienced adverse impact from Facebook and its algorithms based on what he believes is the conservative content he posts to his page.
“I’ve been subjected to some of Facebook’s censorship, if you would call it that,” he said. “It’s not technically censorship since they’re not a government. But they almost act like a monopolistic government entity.”
Huckabee shared one experience from a few years ago during which his account was suspended for one day because of content deemed offensive by the social media platform.
He said the post in question was about an event called Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.
“More recently, there have been times that Facebook would simply restrict the number of people who could see the content that I put out,” he said.
The 2016 presidential candidate complained that “Facebook gets to decide who sees” the content he posts. He went on to encourage serious reforms within Facebook specifically, but also throughout Silicon Valley and its perceived liberal bias.
Facebook has gone from “being a novelty social media platform” to the equivalent of a “public utility,” Huckabee said, suggesting that it is “going to start being treated like a public utility.”
Though he stopped short of advocating government intervention at this point, he made it clear he believes Facebook should face repercussions for its behavior.
“They will rue the day that they use their platform to favor one side of speech versus another,” he warned.
Continuing his comparison of Facebook to a public utility, Huckabee said the website’s algorithm is “not unlike saying that if you are a conservative or you are a Christian you are going to pay more for your electricity and not as much electricity will be delivered to your home as will be delivered to your liberal neighbor.”
Instead of government regulation, though, he believes the companies leaders should address this controversy.
“The better solution is for the companies to get ahead of it — for them to recognize that they have a great commercial enterprise,” he said. “But they ought to operate it like a store that says we may not like your political views but we don’t charge you more and we don’t sell you less for your political views.”
He encouraged executives at these tech firms to operate companies that are “open to all and don’t throttle back views that you don’t agree with,” adding that “if they would do that they wouldn’t be subjected to government regulations.”
The conservative pundit reiterated his belief that the private sector, not elected officials, are better suited to handle the problem.
“Personally, I hate the thought of the government getting involved in tapering because I’ve never seen the government do it and do it better than the marketplace would,” he said.
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