The other day we broke a story in the conservative realm about a post on tech blog Gizmodo which exposed Facebook having a largely liberal bias, specifically when it came to their “trending topics” new feed.
After we shared this news, the rest of the internet sort of blew up, especially in the Conservative sphere. Everywhere you looked people were talking about it. Stephen Crowder has even filed a legal injunction against Facebook for information about this. While we don’t necessarily believe that legal action is necessary (really we just want fair billing with Liberal news), the federal government is apparently taking this on now as well.
According to reports, Senate Republicans want to speak to FB over this issue.
The Senate’s top Internet cop wants to haul Facebook employees before Congress after a tech site reported that the social-media giant allegedly squashes conservative views.
Like many other Republicans, Sen. John Thune, R-South Dakota, was taken aback by a Gizmodo report on Monday in which some former Facebook contract employees claimed to have manipulated the site’s Trending Topics feed to suppress conservative news items and boost liberal ones.
Unlike many other Republicans, Thune can do something about it.
Thune is chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee — which, among other jurisdictions, oversees technology, communications and Internet issues.
And he’s PISSED.
“If true, these allegations compromise Facebook’s ‘open culture’ and mission ‘to make the world more open and connected,'” Thune wrote Tuesday in a sharply worded letter to Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, demanding that employees responsible for Trending Topics brief the Senate committee by May 24.
That deadline is looming large currently, especially in the face of a general election with a Republican candidate that has an enormous social media following.
The Republican National Committee flat-out charged in a statement that the Gizmodo report proves that Facebook is “censoring” conservative viewpoints.
“It is beyond disturbing to learn that this power is being used to silence view points and stories that don’t fit someone else’s agenda,” the RNC statement said.
And of course, the Liberal response was childish.
To which Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada said, in essence, LOL.
Adam Jentleson, Reid’s spokesman, in a response to Thune’s move, noted the Senate’s inaction on several critical issues, including President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.
“The Republican Senate refuses to hold hearings on Judge Garland, refuses to fund the president’s request for Zika aid and takes the most days off of any Senate since 1956 but thinks Facebook hearings are a matter of urgent national interest,” Jentleson told NBC News.
When it’s censorship of freedom of speech, it’s a big deal guys. That’s our most basic constitutional right! You’re refusing to hold hearings on Hillary Clinton, a proven liar and potential murderer.
Whatever comes out of this, one thing is clear, Facebook will need to give the Conservative voice a bit more volume or else they’re going to lose hundreds of millions of users across the world.