House Minority leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) slammed Facebook for its suppression of Breitbart News and other conservative media, following reports that the social network introduced tools which suppressed traffic to Breitbart News and other conservative publishers by double-digit margins.
In an exclusive, wide-ranging comment to Breitbart News, Rep. McCarthy said Facebook’s most partisan employees push for censorship of the platform because they are “threatened” by the accurate reporting of Breitbart News, which challenges their far-left worldview.
Censorship of conservative news coverage by Facebook and other Big Tech companies, said McCarthy, leaves Americans with only “half the story.”
“When Big Tech censors speech that isn’t popular with legacy media, it not only disproportionately silences conservative voices, but it leaves Americans with half the story,” McCarthy told Breitbart News.
“Legacy media outlets are not infallible voices of authority and information. From suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story to downplaying the riots that gripped American cities in 2020 and shutting out discussion of the origins of Covid-19 — decisions to hide facts from the American people should not be the gold standard of truth all content should be measured against. Try as they might, legacy media cannot hide what Americans across the country are seeing and experiencing in their own lives every day.”
“But Big Tech adds to the one-sidedness of the narrative by suppressing content from other outlets telling the rest of the story. Big Tech routinely cites algorithms as their defense against accusations of bias. But House Republicans continue to point out that humans write the algorithms, as well as enforce the implementation of disproportionate and harmful tools like Facebook’s “Sparing Sharing” and “Informed Engagement.”
“And as these Facebook Papers reports illustrate, employees at these companies are not just hysterically anti-conservative — they are against any idea that doesn’t fit their narrative. That’s why accurate headlines, like ‘Massive Looting, Buildings in Flames, Bonfires!’ from outlets like Breitbart News, feel threatening to them and are then subject to suppression.”
“The strength of our free society lies in the firm principle that Americans are free to use their own minds to form opinions on any given issue. What Facebook — and other platforms — are doing to narrow the ability of Americans to access information, is itself a particularly dangerous practice of misinformation.”
McCarthy issued his statement in response to news that Facebook introduced tools after the 2016 election that slashed traffic to conservative publishers – in Breitbart’s case, by an estimated 20 percent.
Via Breitbart News:
The company introduced two tools after the 2016 election that disproportionately harmed conservative publishers. The Journal highlights internal Facebook research showing that if both tools were removed, it would increase traffic to Breitbart News by 20 percent, the Washington Times by 18 percent, Western Journal by 16 percent, and the Epoch Times by 11 percent. Facebook eventually removed one of the tools while keeping the other — but it is unclear which of them had the most impact on traffic.
According to the Wall Street Journal, one of Facebook’s researchers feared, “We could face significant backlash for having ‘experimented’ with distribution at the expense of conservative publishers.”
The story also revealed that Breitbart News is relegated to a “second tier” of the platform’s News Tab, where it gets less exposure than its corporate establishment competitors. On top of this, Facebook is directly paying Breitbart News’s competitors, establishment media conglomerates including the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times — while offering no such compensation to Breitbart News.
The news emerged in a story from the Wall Street Journal, which shed new light on both Facebook’s censorship of conservatives, and the ceaseless agitation on the part of its left-wing employees for more punishment of Breitbart News and other conservative pages.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.