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Report: Facebook Employees Push Censorship of Conservative Views

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Rank and file employees’ politics are driving decision-making about censorship at Facebook, unfairly penalizing conservative views, according to a review of Facebook employee messages, said a new report by the Wall Street Journal.

“They do show that employees and their bosses have hotly debated whether and how to restrain right-wing publishers, with more-senior employees often providing a check on agitation from the rank and file,” reported the Journal.

The new report is one in a series of public disclosures that have embarrassed Facebook, which has taken refuge in a rebranding under the name Meta.

Some states have sought new laws that would outlaw censorship by large social media companies based on political views.

“The bill,” reported the Verge about a proposed Texas law banning political censorship, “would make it unlawful for social media companies with more than 50 million users, like Facebook and Twitter, to censor users and content based on political views or geographic location. This includes moderation actions like banning, deplatforming, or demonetizing users and removing posts.”

Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has claimed that the company has “absolutely no directive” to suppress conservative views, according to the Washington Times. But as the Wall Street Journal reports indicates, the censorship seems to be coming from the middle levels of the company.

When pressed in a committee hearing last year about cases of prominent conservatives who have been blocked from Facebook platform and asked to provide similar instance of Facebook censorship against liberals who have been blocked, Zuckerberg answered: “I’m not sure,” said the Washington Times.

The Wall Street Journal report said the Facebook employees were focused on removing at least one prominent conservative site from a high-referring feature on the site, the News Tabs.

“Facebook employees focused special attention on Breitbart, the documents show, criticizing Facebook for showcasing the site’s content in News Tab and for helping it to sell ads,” said the Wall Street Journal. “They also alleged Facebook gave special treatment to Breitbart and other conservative publishers, helping them skirt penalties for circulating misinformation or hate speech.”

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