How Facebook Can Prove It Doesn’t Discriminate Against Conservatives

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During last week’s congressional hearings investigating the accessing of data from (at least) 87 million Facebook users by Cambridge Analytica, several Republican lawmakers worried that companies like Facebook might have a “liberal bias” in the way it enforces its rules and moderates content posted by users. In 10 separate instances, Republicans brought up cases in which content posted by conservative-leaning Facebook users had been removed in error by the company. The most frequently cited case was the alleged censorship of conservative video bloggers Diamond and Silk. They have asserted since September that Facebook has purposely limited the reach of their brand page, and on April 5, they received a message from Facebook’s policy team saying the company determined their content was “unsafe to the community.”

Zuckerberg and Facebook have said that the “unsafe to the community” message was sent improperly and have apologized. But the deeper claims of censorship were somewhat misleading: Research by ThinkProgresssuggests that video content from across the political spectrum was made less visible after recent changes to Facebook’s algorithms. By ThinkProgress’ analysis, Diamond and Silk apparently suffered less in these changes than comparable liberal-leaning outlets. Representatives from the company told the Washington Post that they had reached out to Diamond and Silk to provide more context to explain the changes.

To read more, please see the full article on Slate here.