This week, Congress had a chance to question Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Although the intended purpose of the hearings were to address Facebook user privacy violations, throughout the hearings, the conversation turned to censorship of conservative content on the social media giant’s platform.
Here’s a question I’d like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to answer this week during his grilling by Congress: Does his social media site use its censorship powers to suppress the sharing of political views that don’t align with its own liberal tilt?
Conservatives believe that to be the case, and there is evidence to support the suspicion.
Last week in Michigan, for example, Aric Nesbitt, a state Senate candidate and former Lottery director, attempted to use Facebook’s paid boost function to enhance the reach of his campaign announcement.
His message: “I’m proud to announce my candidacy for State Senate. Lansing needs conservative, West Michigan values, and as our next State Senator, I will work to strengthen our economy, limit government, lower our auto insurance rates, balance the budget, stop sanctuary cities, pay down government debt and be a Pro-Life, Pro-Second Amendment (lawmaker).”
That’s pretty standard Republican fare. And apparently that makes it unacceptable by Facebook’s standards.
Watch Congressman Fred Upton (MI-R) humiliate Mark Zuckerberg for Facebook’s blatant censorship tactics that are used on a regular basis against conservatives:
Here’s the actual ad that was rejected by Facebook for containing “shocking, disrespectful or sensational content, including ads that depict violence or threats of violence.”
Is there anything remotely objective about Nesbitt’s message or the image he used of himself speaking with elderly veterans?
This sort of suppression of political viewpoints matters because Facebook and other social media sites have enormous control over the news and information their users see.
Their ability to manipulate voter attitudes by withholding certain political views and highlighting others amounts to meddling in the electoral process. As such, they should at least be listed as in-kind contributors to the Democratic Party.