In spite of Mark Zuckerbergs’ belated defense of Facebook’s Trending News practices, claims that the social media giant censors conservative news had not gone away. Zuckerberg posted a lengthy response to such accusations on the first of July, but Pamela Geller of Breitbart was not impressed. She has announced plans to sue Facebook due to what she calls its “constant, systemic, and unfair suspensions of conservative users.” This after Facebook faces a lawsuit in Israel for permitting incitement to terrorism to remain unchallenged.
There was a firestorm of allegations in May after retired Colonel Allen B. West and other conservatives claimed Facebook had shown a pattern of banning conservative posts for what it called “violation of best practices” and then saw them back on the feed after coming under the scrutiny of media.
Facebook attempted to remove itself from the Trending News scandal by releasing its own results of an internal investigation. That report claimed that there is no systemic liberal bias thus Facebook declaring itself of all such charges. Based on that report and other anonymous internal sources, the watchdog site Snopes.com joined in posting that claims of bias at Facebook were unfounded and erroneous.
Geller says that Facebook’s defense is unfounded. She said the site drops conservative reports at the smallest hint of wrongdoing and then replaces them only under media pressure.
These accusations of bias go back as far as 2013 when the conservative website “Chicks on The Right” faced a threatened shutdown when it posted a negative critique of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. Chicks on the Right was spared from being banned by Facebook after Fox News’ Todd Starnes reported on the matter. Starnes was banned himself on the social media giant’s site when he posted the words Paula Deen, Chick-fil-A, the NRA and Jesus Christ in the same paragraph.
Facebook’s decision to become a news curator may have only intensified the scrutiny that is rightly being placed under. Mathew Ingram of Fortune Magazine writes that this is an issue bigger than the innocuous choices those mysterious algorithms but rather Facebook making itself a journalistic news source. Many conservative say Zuckerberg wants it both ways. He has well known close ties to President Obama and the progressive left yet wants to stay in the good graces of the sizable proportion of Facebook’s one billion followers who are decidedly conservative.