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Facebook Employees Demanded Platform 'Suppress Conservative News Outlets'

New whistleblower emerges to reveal attacks against conservative media

 on 25th October 2021 @ 8.00pm
a whistleblower says facebook employees  tried to suppress conservative news outlets © press
A whistleblower says Facebook employees 'tried to suppress conservative news outlets'

A new Facebook whistleblower has emerged to accuse employees at the Big Tech company of trying to "suppress conservative news outlets" on the platform.

Facebook employees reportedly complained about Breitbart and other conservative news sites being included in their news tab, according to internal messages released by the anonymous whistleblower.

The complaints arose amid the violent Black Lives Matter riots throughout the summer of 2020.

Conservative website Breitbart, which used to be run by President Donald Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon, reported on the damage caused by rioters and didn't follow the corporate media's script regarding the unrest. 

In documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal, one Facebook employee wrote: "Get Breitbart out of News Tab."

The employee shared headlines from Breitbart as examples such as: "Minneapolis Mayhem: Riots in Masks," "Massive Looting, Buildings in Flames, Bonfires!" and "BLM Protesters Pummel Police Cars on 101."

conservative news outlets accurately reported on the violence and destruction during the blm riots © press
Conservative news outlets accurately reported on the violence and destruction during the BLM riots

The employee said the headlines were "emblematic of a concerted effort at Breitbart and similarly hyperpartisan sources (none of which belong in News Tab) to paint Black Americans and Black-led movements in a very negative way."

However, Breitbart's coverage was correct and the headlines accurately reflected the events as they unfolded.

Facebook's attacks against Breitbart and other conservative outlets are not new, though.

In 2018, one employee working on the Facebook Audience Network, for whom Facebook sells advertising, argued that Facebook should drop Breitbart from the network.

"My argument is that allowing Breitbart to monetize through us is, in fact, a political statement," the person wrote in an internal memo. 

"It's an acceptance of extreme, hateful and often false news used to propagate fear, racism and bigotry."

When Breitbart was singled out for its coverage of the BLM riots, an employee remarked that Facebook's leaders would struggle to censor Breitbart, through fear of being called biased.

"At best, it would be a very difficult policy discussion," the researcher said.  

After a staffer asked about removing Breitbart, a senior researcher responded by defending the controversial site, stating: "I can also tell you that we saw drops in trust in CNN 2 years ago: would we take the same approach for them too?"

Another employee in a different discussion claimed that the conservative website was being granted a pass from Facebook's usual rules about journalistic standards, saying of Breitbart: "We're scared of political backlash if we enforce our policies without exemptions."

breitbart was run by former trump strategist steve bannon © press
Breitbart was run by former Trump strategist Steve Bannon

Facebook told The Wall Street Journal - which has been publishing a series of articles about the internal workings of the Silicon Valley firm - that it enforces its rules equally and politics do not play a part in its decision making.

"We make changes to reduce problematic or low-quality content to improve people's experiences on the platform, not because of a page's political point of view," said Facebook spokesman Andy Stone. 

"When it comes to changes that will impact public pages like publishers, of course, we analyze the effect of the proposed change before we make it."

Facebook has long been accused of being biased against conservatives.

The claims have been heightened since Trump was banned from the platform earlier this year.

Facebook claimed that Trump's remarks around the January 6 riots were dangerous and should not be shared on the platform.

However, Facebook's censorship often appears to heavily impact those who criticize the Left.

Neon Nettle how now been blocked by Facebook for over a year after several years of on-off blocks from the platform.

[RELATED] Candace Owens Challenges Facebook 'Fact-Checker' and Wins: 'They Lied for Democrats'

tags: Facebook | Big Tech
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