A top Republican senator is demanding answers from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg following allegations that the social media behemoth is preventing conservative stories from being listed as “trending.”
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) issued a statement on Tuesday addressing this situation, which is apparently a damn disaster in his right-wing mind.
Facebook must answer these serious allegations and hold those responsible to account if there has been political bias in the dissemination of trending news,” said Thune. “Any attempt by a neutral and inclusive social media platform to censor or manipulate political discussion is an abuse of trust and inconsistent with the values of an open Internet.”
Thune also sent a letter to Zuckerberg following allegations that Facebook employees had been censoring which viral articles were listed under the social media site’s “Trending” feature. Among other questions asked by the senator in the letter, he wanted to know specifically whether “Facebook news curators, in fact, manipulated the content of the Trending Topics section, either by targeting news stories related to conservative views for exclusion or by injecting non-trending content.”
A Facebook executive on Tuesday that “no evidence” supporting any of these claims of bias had been found.
Apparently unable to find anything else going on in America to concern himself with, Thune also wanted to know more about the safeguards Facebook has in place to ensure curators aren’t suppressing conservative news.
If Facebook presents its Trending Topics section as the result of a neutral, objective algorithm, but it is in fact subjective and filtered to support or suppress particular political viewpoints, Facebook’s assertion that it maintains a ‘platform for people and perspectives from across the political spectrum’ misleads the public,” Thune wrote to Zuckerberg.
Facebook has confirmed that they did receive the letter and said they are reviewing it.
Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), pointed out just how ridiculous it is that this is what his Republican colleague is concerning himself with. He noted just how f*cked up Thune’s priorities really are.
The Republican Senate refuses to hold hearings on Judge Garland, refuses to fund the President’s request for Zika aid and takes the most days off of any Senate since 1956, but thinks Facebook hearings are a matter of urgent national interest,” said Jentleson.
Thune is not alone in his hysterics over Facebook. Bristol Palin is similarly shocked and appalled that there is even the possibility of Facebook or their employees having a political bias. Because hey, with everything going on in the world today, Facebook politics are what really matters. Right?
Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images