Last week, Gizmodo reported that former Facebook employees had finally admitted what conservatives always tacitly knew: that the company used leftist editorial procedures to tamp down trending conservative topics and disadvantage stories from conservative websites. Here’s Gizmodo:
Several former Facebook “news curators,” as they were known internally, also told Gizmodo that they were instructed to artificially “inject” selected stories into the trending news module, even if they weren’t popular enough to warrant inclusion—or in some cases weren’t trending at all….Among the deep-sixed or suppressed topics on the list: former IRS official Lois Lerner, who was accused by Republicans of inappropriately scrutinizing conservative groups; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; popular conservative news aggregator the Drudge Report; Chris Kyle, the former Navy SEAL who was murdered in 2013; and former Fox News contributor Steven Crowder.…Stories covered by conservative outlets (like Breitbart, Washington Examiner, and Newsmax) that were trending enough to be picked up by Facebook’s algorithm were excluded unless mainstream sites like the New York Times, the BBC, and CNN covered the same stories.
Now, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has invited a bevy of conservatives to meet with him in Menlo Park, California, to chat about this, even though his top-level employees have denied the accusations.
Conservatives have good reason to attend with a list of demands: that Facebook commit to an objective algorithm for choosing trending topics; that Facebook cease discrimination against conservatives and conservative outlets; that Facebook redress its past bias against prominent Facebook conservatives like Crowder; that a dollar spent by a conservative on Facebook marketing be treated in exactly same manner as a dollar spent by a leftist on Facebook marketing.
The meeting, in other words, is worthwhile, so long as conservatives go in with a real agenda.
But naturally, pro-Trump websites like Breitbart News, Drudge Report, and Gateway Pundit have chosen to lie about the nature of the meeting instead.
Now, all those outlets have good reason to be skeptical of Facebook’s motives. All conservatives should be. But the meeting isn’t about Donald Trump. Nonetheless, here were the headlines about the Facebook meeting from the pro-Trump web:
Gateway Pundit: “Facebook Founder Zuckerberg to Meet with Conservatives This Week…But Only Anti-Trump Conservatives”
Breitbart News: “Glenn Beck, Anti-Trump Conservatives To Meet With Facebook’s Zuckerberg”
Drudge Report (linking to Breitbart): “ANTI-TRUMP ‘CONSERVATIVES’ IN FACEBOOK MEETUP”
It’s a conspiracy!
And just like all the other anti-Trump conspiracies (The election is being stolen! The media that gave Trump $2 billion in free media wanted to stop him from winning the nomination! It’s the JOOOOOOOOS!), it’s nonsense.
The Hill reported this morning that “Barry Bennett, a senior adviser to the campaign, will represent the New York real estate developer during the meeting on Wednesday.” (Those of us who had heard about the meeting knew that Bennett had been invited long before The Hill reported it, by the way.)
And Breitbart News was invited.
But it must have just been some big anti-Trump confab.
This is how the Trump movement works: they take issues that are important to conservatives and pervert them into litmus tests about the Orange Godking. In the process, they let the apparent bad guys – in this case, Facebook – off the hook, and split conservatives into pro-Trump and anti-Trump factions. All for publicity. All for political gain. And then, as a capper, those like Stephen K. Bannon of Breitbart News (of whom Trump says, “If Steve is involved, it will be good”), say they’re just turning down the invite because “Free speech is not for sale, and neither are we.”