- Also missing: request for information as to to how Facebook helped Obama campaign directly
We would have liked it if yesterday’s Senate hearing investigating Facebook had been able to dispel rumors about the Chairman/CEO who was before it to testify. Accordingly, we would have liked to have seen it open with:
Sir: Is Mark Zuckerberg your given name or is Mark short for “Market” and your real name Suckupdataborg?
Alas that was not to be and so rumors will persist fueled by the FACT that Mr. Z-berg and “Data” from Star Trek, Next Generation have never been seen at the same time.
Cruz did drop the hammer on Zuckerberg for his operation’s targeting of conservatives, inhibiting their use of the Facebook platform (see excerpt from IJR article below). It has been pointed out elsewhere that Zuckerberg had scripted responses available to him.
On Tuesday afternoon, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sat in the hot seat while Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) grilled him on issues related to his massive social media platform.
Cruz started by asking Zuckerberg, “Does Facebook consider itself a neutral public forum?” Zuckerberg responded, “We consider ourselves to be a platform for all ideas.”
“There’s certain content that clearly we do not allow. Hate speech. Terrorist content. Nudity. Anything that makes people feel unsafe in the community. From that perspective, that’s why we generally try to refer to what we do as a platform for all ideas.”
Cruz wasn’t too happy with his response and stated, “It’s just a simple question.” He asked, “Do you consider yourself a neutral public forum? Or are you engaged in political speech, which is your right under the First Amendment?”
Zuckerberg responded, “Our goal is certainly not to engage in political speech.”
Then Cruz dropped the hammer.
“There are a great many Americans who I think are deeply concerned that Facebook and other tech companies are engaged in a pervasive pattern of bias and political censorship. There have been numerous instances with Facebook — in May of 2016, Gizmodo reported that Facebook had purposefully and routinely suppressed conservative stories from trending news, including stories about CPAC, including stories about Mitt Romney, including stories about the Lois Lerner IRS scandal, including stories about Glenn Beck.
In addition to that, Facebook has initially shut down the Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day page, has blocked a post of a Fox News reporter, has blocked over two dozen Catholic pages, and most recently blocked Trump supporters Diamond and Silk’s page with 1.2 million Facebook followers after determining their content and brand were ‘unsafe to the community.’
To a great many Americans, that appears to be a pervasive pattern of political bias.”
Cruz added, “Are you aware of any ad or page that has been taken down from Planned Parenthood?”
Zuckerberg responded, “Senator, I’m not, but —”
Before he could finish responding, Cruz jumped back in.
“How about MoveOn.org?” he asked. “How about any Democratic candidate for office?”
“I’m not specifically aware,” Zuckerberg responded. “I’m not sure.”
The liberal media has portrayed the use of Facebook data for political purposes by the Trump campaign as manipulative and sinister. Key comparative aspects, including that Obama campaign acquired and manipulated such information on a far greater scale with the direct knowledge if not help of Facebook insiders is often not mentioned in order to give the impression the “scandal” is all about Trump.
From what we understand from more trustworthy sources the Trump campaign was a third-party consumer of the data and had no role in any breach of its use by any contract with Facebook. Further, that it was used only for the primary as it was found to be not near as good as information available from Republican processes voluntary obtained from respondents. In order to let the steam out of the liberal press and impart more truth into the public record in that venue we think that Zuckerberg* should have been asked to comment on how his company cooperated with the Obama campaign and distinctions as regards use of data by the Trump campaign. This Investor’s Business Daily article from a few weeks ago explains the differences well.
R Mall with Gene Mattecheck, Jr.
* We have not seen the entire transcript of the hearing so if the matter was effectively addressed we applaud the fact.