Glenn Beck has been shamelessly man-crushing on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg after the meeting he and 16 other conservatives had with the tech billionaire.
The radio talker has been quick to assure conservatives that Zuckerberg is “sincere” and can be “trusted” despite reports from several Facebook whistleblowers that the social media giant actively suppresses conservative news stories and boosts leftwing causes like Black Lives Matter in their “trending” news section.
But if The Blaze founder read Breitbart, he would have ample proof of why Zuckerberg is anything but an impartial player when it comes to politics. Here are ten reasons why Facebook shouldn’t be given the benefit of the doubt by conservatives.
1. Zuckerberg scolded Facebook employees for writing “All Lives Matter” on a wall at the company’s headquarters.
As Breitbart’s Adelle Nazarian reported:
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg scolded “malicious” employees for crossing out and replacing the phrase “Black Lives Matter” with “All Lives Matter” on a wall at the company’s Menlo Park headquarters.
The wall is meant to allow staff to express random thoughts on it. Zuckerberg sent the message in a private, internal memo addressed to Facebook employees.
According to Silicon Beat, the memo was first attained by Gizmodo, which took a screenshot of the message. In it, Zuckerberg said that he and other Facebook heads had warned employees to cease the behavior, but to no avail. He said the “disrespectful behavior” had now become “malicious as well,” and that the company is investigating the incidents.
He went further, essentially endorsing the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
“There are specific issues affecting the black community in the United Sates, coming from a history of oppression and racism,” Zuckerberg wrote. “‘Black lives matter’ doesn’t mean other lives don’t — it’s simply asking that the black community also achieves the justice they deserve.”
2. Facebook’s Trending News manager Tom Stocky is a maximum donor to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
As Breitbart’s Ben Kew reported:
Tom Stocky, responsible for Facebook’s “Trending News” system, has been revealed as a maximum donor to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Federal Election Commission records show that he contributed $2,700 to the Clinton campaign on October 26, 2015, the maximum amount that can be given by an individual candidate during a primary.
3. 80% of the political donations from Facebook employees go to liberals.
Among the reasons American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp cited to support his belief that Facebook is not an impartial player when it comes to conservative politics is the fact that “of the 1,000 political donations from Facebook employees, 80% have gone to liberals.”
Sclapp also noted that “CPAC content egregiously underperforms on Facebook compared to Twitter and other platforms by factors of 10.”
4. Conservative organizations advocating against illegal immigration report that Facebook actively suppresses their content.
As Breitbart’s Julia Hahn reported:
Patty McMurray says that since her group began covering immigration on its Facebook page, her group’s engagement numbers dropped by around 93 percent — even as her group continued to gain more followers.
“We were seeing engagement levels of 27-32 million people,” she said. “We had 150,000 Facebook followers who were very active [and] if we posted something on our page, within an hour it would have 10,000 shares,” she said. “Now we have more followers than ever before — over 400,000 — but now we’re lucky if we can get an engagement level of 2 million people.”
“We routinely get complaints and messages from our followers asking us what happened and why they don’t see our content in their newsfeed anymore,” McMurray said.
Yet more broadly, the activists say that Facebook suppresses their groups in multiple ways: such as unsubscribing followers, hiding the groups’ content from their followers’ newsfeeds, deleting posts, and suspending the advocates’ ability to post on their own Facebook pages.
For example, in the course of a single day anti-amnesty filmmaker Dennis Michael Lynch saw Facebook’s monitors forcibly unsubscribe 4,000 Facebook users who had liked and followed the advocate’s Facebook page.
The “Likes” were allegedly removed because they represented followers who had died or were no longer active, Lynch told Breitbart. However, Lynch says that could not be true because the deleted followers included “many of my personal friends, who actively seek out my content on a daily basis.”
When Lynch threatened legal action following the deletion of his 4,000 followers, Facebook — in what Lynch described as an admission of guilt — returned the followers to his page.
Lynch said that one sales rep told him, “I have never seen any business account treated like yours. I have never seen ‘Likes’ be taken away and after a complaint they go back. I can’t believe how many times they’ve done this to you.”
5. Zuckerberg has a lobbying arm that aggressively pushes a radical leftwing open border immigration agenda.
As Breitbart’s Julia Hahn reported:
In 2015, Zuckerberg threw his support behind an immigration bill known as the Immigration Innovation Act, which would have allowed for a virtually unlimited expansion of Muslim migration. Rutgers University Professor Hal Salzman has also explained that the Zuckerberg-backed bill would flood the labor market with enough foreign workers that employers could fill at least 100 percent of their entry-level tech hires with foreign workers instead of American workers.
In fact, Zuckerberg has even used his lobbying firm to try to hoodwink conservatives into signing on to his leftwing immigration agenda:
In the past, Zuckerberg’s lobbying firm has sought to influence conservative voters who oppose Zuckerberg’s immigration agenda. For instance, in 2013 an affiliate of Zuckerberg’s decidedly pro-amnesty lobbying group ran an ad defending Paul Ryan and claiming that Ryan opposes “amnesty.” Politico reported that “the spot from the FWD.us affiliate begins with a picture of Ryan and says, ‘Amnesty? Not a chance,’ and goes on to say the House budget chairman is looking at a ‘conservative solution’ to the issue of immigration.” Zuckerberg’s pro-amnesty group spent $350,000 on the ad-buy to convince conservative voters that Ryan does not support amnesty. Ryan, who supports giving citizenship to illegal immigrants, has a two-decade long history of pushing for open borders immigration policies.
6. A leaked screenshot of an internal discussion among Facebook employees revealed the extent to which the company seeks to influence the 2016 election against the GOP’s presumptive nominee Donald Trump.
The Hill reported:
Gizmodo published a screenshot Friday of an internal poll that Facebook employees were purportedly using to decide what questions to ask CEO Mark Zuckerberg at a meeting in March.
Several of the questions concerned either the company’s business position or internal matters, but one was about politics: “What responsibility does Facebook have to prevent President Trump in 2017?” Some employees apparently voted for the question to be posed to the CEO.
Gizmodo speculated that Facebook could downplay stories and posts related to Trump in its New Feed, potentially putting a damper on his campaign.
Zuckerberg’s advocacy group FWD.us even released a video ad attacking Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz for their immigration policies.
7. Facebook is openly working with the German government to stifle the free speech of Germans who are critical of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mass immigration policies.
As Breitbart’s Allum Bokhari reported:
Zuckerberg has also promised the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, that he would tackle allegedly “hateful” criticism of immigration on his platform. His company is openly working with the German government – who hired an ex-Stasi agent to monitor Facebook for anti-immigration rhetoric – to quash dissidents to Merkel’s disastrous immigration policies.
Indeed, at a town hall meeting in Berlin in February, Zuckerberg praised Germany’s mass migration policies as “inspiring” and a “role model for the world,” while at the same time reaffirming his commitment to combat “hate speech” against those policies on Facebook.
“I hope other countries follow Germany’s lead on this,” he added. “I hope the U.S. follows Germany’s lead on this.”
Speaking at the same event, Zuckerberg also emphasised his commitment to tackling “hate speech” on Facebook.
“Hate speech has no place on Facebook and in our community,” he said. “Until recently in Germany I don’t think we were doing a good enough job, and I think we will continue needing to do a better and better job.”
Zuckerberg added that the company would place a special priority on tackling hate speech against migrants. Facebook’s policies, he said, would “now include hate speech against migrants as an important part of what we just now have no tolerance for.”
“Now as I travel around the world I’m starting to see people and nations turning inward, against this idea of a connected world and a global community,” Zuckerberg said. “I hear fearful voices calling for building walls and distancing people they label as others, for blocking free expression, for slowing immigration, reducing trade, and in some case even cutting access to the Internet.”
“Instead of building walls we can help people build bridges, and instead of dividing people we can help bring people together,” he added.
9. A recent WND report provides proof of massive drops in Facebook engagement for conservative sites.
As Breitbart’s Allum Bokhari reported:
The study shows Breitbart outperforming its competitors in Facebook engagement by a considerable margin (in January, our engagement was at an astonishing 100 percent). But it also shows engagement for all conservative sites has dropped over four months despite a rise in Facebook fans during the same period.
WND used user data from Facebook to track the performance of their own site, as well as a number of conservative competitors including Breitbart, The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Washington Free Beacon, and The Blaze between January and May 2016.
In that four-month period, the data shows that despite a rise in the number of “likes,” or fans of all the tracked conservative sites, the number of engagements (the number of people who see posts, react to, share, or click on a post) went down.
Breitbart, for example, had 1.6 million likes and an engagement rate of 100 percent at the start of 2016. By May, our likes had gone up to 1.9 million — but engagements had dropped to 60 percent.
Similar patterns were observed for all other conservative sites tracked by WND. In January, The Blaze had 1.8 million likes and an engagement rate of 27.59 percent. By May, they had a modest increase in likes to 1.9 million — but their engagement dropped more than ten points to 15.79 percent.
The Washington Examiner saw its engagement rate drop by more than half, from 43.29 percent in January to 19.46 percent in May. So too did The Daily Caller, which went from 41.58 percent engagement in January to 13.74 percent four months later.
10. Beck’s claim that it was just “one former member of the Trending team” that caused this controversy is misleading.
Though only one former employee specifically mentioned the active suppression of conservatives, the Gizmodo report which sparked this controversy was based on interviews with “several” Facebook whistleblowers who painted a clear picture of how the tech giant puts its thumb on the scale to tilt its trending news section leftward, despite claims of impartiality:
Facebook workers routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network’s influential “trending” news section, according to a former journalist who worked on the project. This individual says that workers prevented stories about the right-wing CPAC gathering, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, and other conservative topics from appearing in the highly-influential section, even though they were organically trending among the site’s users.
Several former Facebook “news curators,” as they were known internally, also told Gizmodo that they were instructed to artificially “inject” selected stories into the trending news module, even if they weren’t popular enough to warrant inclusion—or in some cases weren’t trending at all.
BONUS: Zuckerberg himself famously revealed precisely what he thinks of people like Beck who give him their blind trust: “dumb fucks.”
Leaked transcripts of an instant message chat Zuckerberg had with a friend back in 2004 show the young tech entrepreneur calling his fellow Harvard students who were the very first users of his social media platform “dumb fucks” for trusting him with their data.
The exchange, whose authenticity has never been disputed by Zuckerberg, was as follows:
Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuck: Just ask.
Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS
[Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?
Zuck: People just submitted it.
Zuck: I don’t know why.
Zuck: They “trust me”
Zuck: Dumb fucks
Follow Rebecca Mansour on Twitter @RAMansour