Mark Zuckerberg and his company Facebook have been under fire lately for allegedly suppressing conservative news in its trending news section. But there have been new developments in that case and Zuckerberg himself is planning to hold a meeting with some of America’s top conservative media voices.
Although Mark Zuckerberg has claimed that his company has not been suppressing any trending topics, which includes conservative news, he did say that he will still be following through with an investigation into the third party contractors who were handling the trending topics section on Facebook.
The meeting between Mark Zuckerberg and conservative media pundits will take place today, according to ABC News. This will seem to be an effort to squash the scandal that Facebook has been neck deep in ever since the news surfaced about third party admins saying that they would suppress conservative news topics until more reliable sources reported on the news.
— ABC News (@ABC) May 18, 2016
Among those meeting with Mark Zuckerberg today are Glenn Beck, Dana Perino (former press secretary for President George W. Bush), Zac Moffatt, (former digital director for Mitt Romney), Arthur Brooks (president of the conservative think tank, American Enterprise Institute), and Barry Bennett (Donald Trump campaign adviser).
Even though Mark Zuckerberg has said that a third party oversees the Facebook trending topics section, there is, in fact, an algorithm that locates and suggests trending topics on Facebook and posts those topics to the section, which allows users to streamline their search for news sources.
Mark Zuckerberg to meet with conservatives today including our own Dana Perinohttps://t.co/Oat4ecfiZ8
— FOX & Friends (@foxandfriends) May 18, 2016
Trending topics has long been a way for users of the social media platform to get their news instead of visiting news sites like ABC News, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. There also many internet-only news sites out there that heavily contribute to the news stories that pop up in that section.
In a Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg outlined what his vision was for the trending topics section, which he seems to view as a news source for all, without bias to religion, race, or politics.
“We are one global community where anyone can share anything — from a loving photo of a mother and her baby to intellectual analysis of political events,” a portion of Mark Zuckerberg’s post said.
Mark Zuckerberg has taken a much bigger step than he likely ever imagined when he developed Facebook over a decade ago and turned into a something that has gone further than most have ever imagined. That is because, in recent years, it has been a hot bed of activity for politics, entertainment, and even social sharing. But the political heat has been what’s fired Facebook to an even higher degree than it ever imagined.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) May 18, 2016
So, now that Mark Zuckerberg’s social media platform has become so deeply embedded within the political arena, there are many more responsibilities that the young billionaire faces, which includes lending an equal voice to both sides of the aisle in domestic and foreign politics.
The suppression of conservative topics from biased news sources like The Federalist has been such a hot button topic for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that this meeting is an attempt to calm the fires.
— Larry Kudlow (@larry_kudlow) May 18, 2016
But The Federalist themselves have not bought into Mark Zuckerberg’s meeting and still hold the event to be “real con job,” claiming that Joel Kaplan, a former official in the Bush administration, is now lobbying for Facebook and trying to sweep the issue under the rug.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will meet with conservatives over allegations of bias. pic.twitter.com/EVRmxI1QRa
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) May 18, 2016
Although it is true that Kaplan did indeed have a position within the Bush administration, there are many signs that indicate that Facebook did not suppress the trending news, but rather a former third party contractor did, by his own admission. The real question here is whether or not the third party company is still working for Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook, and/or what he is doing to vet any future contractors from making the same mistake.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]