Republicans grill Mark Zuckerberg over ‘censoring’ conservative vloggers

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Mark Zuckerberg faces many questions about Facebook's policies, most of which involve the handling of user data. But there is a recurring theme on the Republican side: Facebook is censoring conservative content, particularly two pro-Trump vloggers called Diamond and Silk. Several lawmakers have asked about Lynnette "Diamond" Hardaway and Rochelle "Silk" Richardson, who complained that Facebook was limiting the scope of their videos, and told them that their videos were "unsafe for the community." Facebook then told reporters that the e-mail "imprecise and does not reflect the way we communicate with our community," but that has not satisfied the legislators.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) listed yesterday a series of alleged cases of Facebook censorship, including Diamond and Silk's complaint. "For a lot of Americans, that seems to be a widespread pattern of political bias," Cruz said. Zuckerberg denied the accusation, but said it was a "just concern", and Cruz went on to the questions about Palmer Luckey. But more legislators brought the couple the next day. Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) began his interrogation by reading a query he received through Facebook, saying he had "dozens" of similar ones. "Please, ask Mr. Zuckerberg, why does Facebook censor conservative bloggers like Diamond and Silk? Facebook called them" unsafe for the community. "That's ridiculous, they have conservative views. That is not insecure. "
Zuckerberg said that "in that specific case, our team made an application error, and we have already contacted them to reverse it." Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) repeated Barton's question in passing, and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) asked if Facebook manipulated algorithms to censor the speech, jumping up and down when Zuckerberg talked about finding and automatically banning the content terrorist. "Let me tell you something right now, Diamond and Silk are not terrorism!" He exclaimed.
Diamond and Silk quickly condemned Facebook's "insecure" language, and Facebook had backed it out long before the hearing. But the case is the latest in a long series of fights over Facebook's supposed anti-conservative bias, and it's clear that Republican lawmakers are not going to drop the issue.


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