Facebook’s algorithm changes have hit conservative websites, and they’ve been hit hard. Yet, liberal media sources remain mostly unaffected by the changes, which were supposed to be distributed equally.
In an appearance on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show Thursday night, Floyd Brown — founder of The Western Journal, the parent site of Conservative Tribune — lashed out at the social media giant for the changes, which it has insisted were indeed distributed equally.
Carlson noted that almost half the country uses the social media platform as a primary news source, and that “millions and millions of people understand the world through Facebook.”
“But Facebook is not a neutral host,” Carlson noted. “It has a political agenda. Earlier this year, Facebook altered its algorithms for what news stories its users see, and the results conclusively have been devastating for conservatives online.”
The Western Journal was the first source to confirm this in a data-driven report, pointing out that liberal sources had gained roughly 2 percent in traffic since the algorithm change, while conservative sites have been down 14 percent. “The 12 most conservatives sites lost an average of 27.06 percent of their traffic from Facebook,” the report added.
For some, the changes have been worse. Breitbart, Carlson said, has seen its numbers drop by 30 percent. Rare closed its doors. Carlson’s own Daily Caller has seen a significant hit, as has Fox News.
Brown, the veteran conservative activist who founded Western Journal, said Facebook is deliberately failing its users in the name of a political agenda.
Saying that the numbers were “very clear” that Facebook was targeting conservative sites, Brown argued that “Facebook has broken its trust with the end user.”
“You know, one of the things I always liked about Facebook and admired about Facebook was that it was optimized to the end user,” Brown said.
“You have about 1.5 million followers on Facebook, Tucker. And the truth is, as one of those followers, I expect to get news and information that you find interesting and you decide to share,” he continued.
“That’s a social network. It’s no longer a social network when Mark Zuckerberg and the other elites in Silicon Valley decide what you should get, the information that you should consume and really, decide from on high what news you should have.”
When asked how we had gotten to a place where two companies with noted liberal biases — Google and Facebook — control almost all media access online, Brown said it was the fact that these companies weren’t always so censorious of conservative viewpoints.
“Well, I think that early on, Facebook did a fabulous job of letting people basically curate their own content. We all went online, and we liked different people, we followed Donald Trump, we followed people in the news that we liked, we followed publications that we liked,” Brown said.
“And so, we were all of a sudden getting great content that we all wanted to follow it and consume it, and as a result of that, Facebook went through the roof.
“But now, Facebook’s having trouble with engagement because it’s not optimized to the end user anymore, it’s now optimized to the thought police,” he continued. “And that’s a big change that’s really — it’s hurting Facebook, but it’s also hurting discourse in America.”
Brown added that he thought “what people need to understand on Capitol Hill is that it has big implications for upcoming elections, and really the ability of America to make good decisions.”
Carlson ended the segment by calling it “another form of social control,” and it clearly is.
This is a much bigger thing than Cambridge Analytica or any of Facebook’s other privacy scandals — the fact that one of the largest companies in America now wants to change its product in order to change American public discourse. This, in and of itself, wouldn’t be evil. The fact that they want to do it via censorship, however, clearly is. It’s something everyone in this country — and around the world — ought to be concerned about.
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