In the latest case of conservative cheerleading for Facebook — the site which was accused, earlier this month, of artificially promoting promoting progressive stories while suppressing conservative ones — FOX News pundit Dana Perino has defended the social network.
Following her attendance at the widely-publicized (but behind-closed-doors) meeting between conservatives and Facebook executives, Perino has outlined her thoughts on why the movement should believe Mark Zuckerberg’s assurances that his platform will remain unbiased.
In her article, Perino stated that Facebook “recognizes” that it has lost trust with conservatives, but added that she left the meeting feeling “assured that Facebook would be working to repair relationships.” She also specifically rebutted Breitbart’s accusation that the meeting was a “photo-op” designed to make Facebook look good, noting that “there were no cameras.”
“Photo-op,” of course, was meant as a colloquialism — the fact that there were no cameras doesn’t mean the meeting wasn’t a case of public image management on Facebook’s part. Also, the claim that “there were no cameras” doesn’t make much sense when Facebook’s Product Development Specialist Devi Kovi posted a photo of her posing with Perino at Facebook HQ to Instagram.
Perino praised Facebook for their “openness” and willingness to listen, even joking that the Republicans should hold their convention in Silicon Valley.
Imagine a meeting in 2016 where 16 different conservatives – representing all the different viewpoints we have – get along really well and are reminded of our common principles. (Maybe we should have the convention in Silicon Valley? OK, maybe in 2020).
Unlike Glenn Beck, however, she noted that the lack of viewpoint diversity in Facebook’s staff is a legitimate concern for conservatives.
Facebook — and Silicon Valley in general — takes pride in their commitment to diversity among their employees. But a point that was made yesterday is that diversity in thought and opinion is critical as well for a well-rounded company.
Gender diversity and ethnic diversity are not the only ways to diversify, and Facebook clearly lacks conservative staffers. The company did not disagree.
On the other hand, like Glenn Beck, Perino did not mention Facebook’s year-long track record of censorship in Europe, where they have worked with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, to monitor and remove allegedly “hateful” criticism of Europe’s open-door immigration policies. Nor is there any acknowledgement of recent allegations from critics of immigration in the US, who have also accused Facebook of deliberately suppressing their content.