Sen. Mike Lee Grills Mark Zuckerberg About Facebook’s Enforcement ‘Errors’

Senate Judiciary Committee

Senator Mike Lee (R-AZ) asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during Tuesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing why it took the social media platform two weeks to correct the bogus censorship of a pro-life advertisement correctly calling out Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris’ (D-CA) pro-abortion stances.

“Facebook relied on a third-party fact checker’s assessment to ban two advertisements from Facebook for, ‘partly false information.’ Now, both of these advertisements were factual in nature,” said Lee during the committee hearing.

“They revealed that Joe Biden’s and Kamala Harris’ views on late-term abortions,” continued Lee. “Joe Biden has stated that he won’t accept any restrictions on abortion, and senator Harris’ views are such that she voted against requiring care for a child born alive during a botched abortion.”

“The very next day, the third-party fact checker issued a statement retracting the assessment, and retracting it as erroneous,” the senator added. “However, it stunningly took Facebook almost two more weeks — until October 29, when voting had already started in many jurisdictions — to lift the ban on these legitimate ads.”

Lee had been referring to an advertisement highlighting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ position on abortion. The ad, which was run by the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List and was targeted at swing-state voters, was blocked by Facebook eighteen days ahead of the election.

“So, Mr. Zuckerberg, why on earth did it take Facebook two weeks to correct this error?” inquired Lee.

The Facebook CEO responded by stating that he had no recollection of the incident, but suggested that it had likely occurred due to a “mistake.”

“Senator, I’m not familiar with the details of us reenabling that ad, so I can follow up with you after,” said Zuckerberg.

“It’s possible that this was just a mistake or delay, and unfortunately, when we handle millions or billions of pieces of content a day, and while we strive to do as well as possible, and be as precise as possible, we will make some mistakes,” added the Facebook CEO.

Senator Lee responded by noting that “mistakes” always seem to occur on one side of the political spectrum. “Those mistakes sure happen a whole lot more on one side of the political spectrum than the other,” said Lee.

“Now this is understandable, we’re humans, but it’s also understandable why this might occur, maybe some of it has to do with your employees — 92.83 percent of Facebook employees who donated to federal candidates gave to Democrats. At Twitter it’s even more stark than that, as if it could get much more stark, but 99.3 percent of Twitter employees who donated to federal candidates gave to Democrats,” noted the senator.

“And so, these mistakes, they may be mistakes, but they are mistakes that rhyme,” he added. “They may not repeat themselves, but they rhyme, and the consistent theme happens to be Republicans, conservatives, and pro-life activists.”

Senator Lee concluded by requesting that Facebook and Twitter conjure up lists of users that have been face-checked or censored to see if they do in fact happen primarily on one side of the political spectrum.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler at @alana, and on Instagram.


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