Earlier today, Pamela Geller announced here on Breitbart that she plans to sue Facebook due to the platform’s constant, systemic, and unfair suspensions of conservative users. It’s a battle that’s been a long time coming for the social network, and over the next few days Breitbart will highlight precisely why.
This is a platform that’s happy to suspend activists like Geller over the slightest hint of wrongdoing, and only restores them once enough media pressure is applied. Meanwhile, it lets pages glorifying the murder of American policemen to stay up even when alerted to their presence on the site by concerned users. The company is already facing a lawsuit in Israel for allegedly allowing incitement to terrorism to remain on the platform.
In May, Facebook attempted to wriggle out of the Trending News scandal, in which it was revealed that the platform suppressed news topics of interest to conservatives, by releasing the results of an internal investigation. The report claimed there was no systemic liberal bias at the company. In other words, Facebook investigated Facebook and found Facebook innocent.
As a caveat to their report, which vociferously denied any systemic, company-mandated bias, Facebook acknowledged that they could not rule out “isolated improper actions” or “unintentional bias” on the part of its workforce.
In other words, liberals and progressives at Facebook may be censoring conservatives by accident — because they’re psychologically inclined to view conservative sources as unreliable and conservative topics as uninteresting or offensive — or via a rogue element deliberately violating company policy (that’s what “isolated improper actions” means.)
Or, to put it another way, Facebook, like all new media companies (and old media companies) has too many progressives and not enough right-wingers in its workforce. But how many, exactly? And just how radical are these progressive employees?
A research team led by journalist Charles Johnson has been trawling through the social media profiles of Facebook’s trending news team. Even for those who are aware of the progressive tilt of Silicon Valley employees, the results will be astounding.
Only one member of the trending news team has made social media posts that could be described as anything close to conservative. Virtually every member of the team has displayed allegiance to some culturally progressive cause or another — much of it extremely radical.
Two Managing Editors at Facebook, for example, have implied that the word “terrorism” should not be used to describe the actions of, well, terrorists.
Multiple employees have made posts in support of Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and the Black Lives Matter movement. None has openly supported any of the Republican candidates. None has declared their support for All Lives Matter.
Let’s start with just one example, Monica Torres.
Torres is a New York University alumna, a contributing editor to The Feminist Wire, someone who believes in censoring “microaggressions” … and a curator of Facebook’s Trending News feed.
In 2013, Torres wrote an article complaining about having to study “dead white males” in order to graduate from her English literature class. She also complained about her family falling prey to the “intoxicating allure of the American dream.”
In 2011, she wrote an article for her college paper, The Williams Record, calling on the university to accept submissions from undocumented students. With the exception of her own “Minority Coalition,” Torres also complained that “activism on campus is mostly reactionary and rarely sustained.”
It’s doubtful whether anyone could see activism on American campuses as “reactionary,” unless they were looking from the perspective of the far progressive left.
Torres doesn’t tilt slightly towards the left. She isn’t a moderate, who votes Democrat every election because she went to a liberal college and works in San Francisco. She isn’t “unintentionally biased.” No — she believes passionately in her culturally progressive values, and has worked actively to promote them.
And she is the norm, not the exception, on Facebook’s Trending News team.
Tomorrow, Breitbart Tech will publish the first of our research on Facebook’s Trending News team, which has found:
- apologists for Islamic terrorism, but no neoconservatives
- outspoken feminists, but no men’s rights activists
- vitriolic opponents of Donald Trump, but no Donald Trump supporters
- crusaders for gay marriage, but no social conservatives
- proponents of immigration, but no opponents
- defenders of Black Lives Matter, but no defenders of All Lives Matter
In short, we will reveal an environment where “unintentional bias” and “isolated improper actions,” to use Facebook’s terminology, are inevitable. Facebook’s Trending News team don’t just have progressive biases — they have the progressive biases of a DePaul University activist.
Following Facebook’s widely publicized meeting with conservatives following the Trending News scandal, Daily Caller editor Tucker Carlson, who attended the meeting, claimed that Facebook executives were receptive to his suggestion of more viewpoint diversity in their workforce. If that’s true, our upcoming articles will show just how steep of a hill they have to climb.
Facebook presides over the speech of more than a billion users. Its importance to the dissemination of information, the reporting of news, political dialogue, and plain human conversation cannot be ignored. It has the potential to wield far more influence over world events than the old media ever did. And if it wants to be politically biased, it will have to honest about it — otherwise we will.
Allum Bokhari is a reporter for Breitbart. He can be followed on Twitter at@LibertarianBlue. Milo Yiannopoulos is a senior editor for Breitbart. He can be followed at @Nero. Email them at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org