We saw Mark Zuckerberg ambling out of a private business meeting with Donald Trump in the White House and wondered what he was up to. Appearance-wise, it did not seem like the time or the place for him to be–under any circumstances. Now, we know.
As Facebook’s Chairman, CEO, and controlling shareholder, he testified before Congress then headed over to the people’s. house along with Facebook Board Member Pete Theil. Allegedly, the secret private dinner was to discuss the company’s new cryptocurrency, according to NBC News. The two businessmen lied:
Translated into English, Facebook was controlling what posts showed up on our Facebook page. Zuckerberg manipulated his company so that conservatives had a far broader reach and severely limited that of the progressive-leaning publications.
‘[Facebook was] tweaking its code to help right-wing publishers and throttle sites like Mother Jones [and other sites that called Trump to task].’
After Trump spent nearly a year in office, Facebook briefed its executives about “some major changes to its News Feed,” The Mother Jones magazine reported.
Facebook claimed the change was to “bring people closer together,” link us to family and friends posts, but get this:
‘[P]rioritize “trusted” and “informative” sources of news. The changes would also reduce how much news most people see, and therefore decrease revenue for many publishers.’
In reality, it was a violation of the First Amendment’s right to a free press:
‘Facebook used its monopolistic power to boost and suppress specific publishers’ content—the essence of every Big Brother fear about the platforms…It’s an attack on your ability to stay informed. It’s an attack on democracy.’
The mega-billionaire thought he was setting into cement that his gargantuan company would remain an unrestricted, intact monopoly. On November 3, 2020, we will see if his instincts to go with Trump were right:
‘Facebook actually ran experiments to see how the changes would affect publishers—and when it found that some of them would have a dramatic impact on the reach of right-wing “junk sites,” as a former employee with knowledge of the conversations puts it, the engineers were sent back to lessen those impacts.’
The Wall Street publication showed Facebook was harming “progressive-leaning news organizations:”
‘As the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, they came back in January 2018 with a second iteration that dialed up the harm to progressive-leaning news organizations instead.’
Mother Jones believed that it was among the dozen or so singled out:
‘[A]bout a dozen specific publishers—and Mother Jones was singled out as one that would suffer, while the conservative site the Daily Wire was identified as one that would benefit. These changes were pushed by Republican operatives working in Facebook’s Washington office under Vice President of Global Public Policy Joel Kaplan (who later made headlines for demonstratively supporting his friend Brett Kavanaugh during confirmation hearings).’
Facebook had bar graphs showing the reach “various news organizations would gain or lose under the revamped algorithm:”
‘One chart showed the Daily Wire, a site headed by conservative pundit Ben Shapiro that routinely shares false claims and malignant ideas (being transgender is a “delusion,” abortion providers are “assassins,” US Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., is not “loyal to America”).’
A second graph showed:
‘Mother Jones, whose rigorously fact-checked investigative work has garnered many of journalism’s highest awards, including—just months before that Facebook presentation—being honored as Magazine of the Year at our industry’s version of the Academy Awards.’
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.