Why the American Conservative Union Declined Meeting with Zuckerberg, Facebook

WASHINGTON DC — This past weekend, a senior representative from Facebook contacted me to invite American Conservative Union to attend a meeting with Mark Zuckerberg and other conservative leaders to discuss the allegations that Facebook suppressed conservative content. We appreciate their invitation, especially since our organization and annual conference, CPAC, were specifically targeted.

However, we do not believe that the problem between Facebook and CPAC and the broader conservative community is merely a communication problem. Facebook and Mr. Zuckerberg are drawing the wrong conclusion from the negative response from conservatives. It appears that they believe they can avoid having to answer for their actions by hosting conservative luminaries at their state-of-the-art headquarters.

Facebook has a history of agitating against conservatives and conservative policies, especially when it comes to ACU’s own conference, CPAC.  The facts are:

1) Facebook staff has admitted to suppressing content about CPAC.

2) Facebook rejected ACU’s overtures for Facebook to play a meaningful role at CPAC.

3) The deck is stacked:  CPAC content egregiously underperforms on Facebook compared to Twitter and other platforms by factors of 10.

4) The Facebook Trending News Chief, Tom Stocky is a maxed-out donor to Hillary Clinton.

5) Of the 1,000 political donations from Facebook employees, 80 percent have gone to liberals.

6) Facebook holds liberal positions on important issues such as privacy, property and priests.

We will not be attending this meeting. We know one meeting cannot possibly resolve all of the above mentioned issues.

ACU would, of course, prefer to have real engagement with Facebook about whether pastors and priests can have full access to Facebook, or if we could come to terms on the FCC’s intrusive rule-making on privacy, or how we could actually protect intellectual property owners.

Facebook has harmed its credibility with conservatives, but if they want to mend the relationship, we’re happy to sit down with their experts about how they can better strike a balance between sterile algorithms choosing news content and when a human curator decides to put a finger on the scale. If Facebook wants the benefit of the doubt, they need to start with complete transparency on how decisions are made concerning its newsfeeds.

Inducing people to sign-up for a Facebook account under the potentially fraudulent assertion that the company is neutral on news content has serious repercussions. We applaud Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune’s (R-SD/ACU Life Rating: 86 percent) efforts to ask the tough questions so Facebook users can know the truth.

This is much bigger than just having a meeting with “leading conservatives,” and winning the day’s news cycle.  The Gizmodo story has exposed the rift between Facebook’s liberal perspective and the hundred million Americans who self-identify as conservative.   We hope to have substantive interactions that can begin to resolve these issues.

Comments

  1. David Bryant says

    I sent this letter to the WSJ after reading about the Facebook censorship:

    The “Facebook Bias Claim” is remarkable only because it singles out Mark Zuckerberg and his company. Nearly all major broadcast, print, and social media are firmly left, addicted to their race-based perspective, bashing the GOP, loathing conservatives, blaming the U.S. for the world’s ills, defending Islamists, and in their clubby world – communicating only with their elitist allies. Little point in singling out Facebook.

  2. Neil Mahony says

    They also black out many responses from conservatives. When one goes to a “comment” section of an article or blog it is usually handled by Facebook. I apparently have been blackballed as the minute I sign in the comment section goes blank and my comment is not posted. I have never used foul language or threatened anyone. I now look for “comment” sections managed by Disqus or others. Have never had a problem with them. Also when any Facebook announcements show up from friends they automatically are shunted into the “Trash” section of a User Account that is inactive. I have written to them many times but rudely without any response.

    • THE CAPTIVE says

      Facebook is controlled by Arabs. These individuals do not mind calling Christians, Jews and Infidels FILTHY – BUT when say the infidel called Islam FILTHY (islam is islam,get it? ) then they decide to censor this individual -for a month. So you see FB is controlled by FILTHY ISLAM 0 NAZIS who impose their sharia on any disagreement. Let us understand this –ISLAM will not tolerate the TRUTH about the dealings of this filthy islamic ideology what-so-ever!

      • And your source for this allegation is what? The entire backbone and leadership of Facebook are genius computer geeks, so to speak. Since they are mostly, if not all, Jewish, I doubt that there are any Arabs involved in the administration since some have truly proven just how bigoted they are.

  3. kellog64 says

    the meeting is simply a trap.

  4. Dave Francis says

    I was banned by ‘Facebook” and Disgus commenting system, that you will locate in the mainstream media. Just blocked with no replies to my request for answers. To me it was obvious, owing to my Conservative Party affiliation?

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