The US Senate wants answers over reports that Facebook suppresses conservative voices while amplifying leftist movements such as Black Lives Matters.
Republican Senator John Thune sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asking him to explain the company’s editorial practices and the criteria for “trending topics” over the claims.
“Social networks such as Facebook are an increasingly important source of news for many Americans and people around the world,” reads Thune’s letter.
“If Facebook presents its Trending Topics section as the result of a neutral, objective algorithm but is in fact subjective,” then “Facebook’s assertion that it maintains ‘a platform for people and perspectives from across the political spectrum’ misleads the public,” it continues.
Facebook is under fire following reports the social media company has been suppressing conservative voices while promoting progressive movements such as Black Lives Matter. Thune is the current chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, responsible for jurisdiction over media and internet communication issues.
A petition was also created by the Republican National Committee stating “Facebook Must Answer For Conservative Censorship.”
Facebook’s head of Trending Topics, Tom Stocky, denied the allegations Monday evening.
“Facebook does not allow or advise our reviewers to systematically discriminate against sources of any ideological origin and we’ve designed our tools to make that technically not feasible,” he claimed. “At the same time, our reviewers’ actions are logged and reviewed, and violating our guidelines is a fireable offense.”
Meanwhile, Peter Thiel, a major shareholder in Facebook, has been announced as a delegate for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos has meanwhile challenged Mark Zuckerburg to a one-on-one live interview over a Facebook live stream to discuss the allegations.