When the IRS was confronted with accusations that they were targeting Tea Party and conservative groups, they initially denied it. When proof emerged, the tax-collecting organization asserted that “rogue agents” were responsible. When it became evident that orders to target conservative groups came from the top of the bureaucracy, IRS officials simply shrugged and said, “Yeah, so what?”
The same pattern is emerging with regards to Facebook. While many have claimed that Facebook’s alleged targeting of conservative content is a First Amendment issue, it really is not. They’re a company, not the government, and they can operate as unethically as they see fit.
However, they are a company that has taken money from other companies for advertisement. These companies purchased advertisement believing that they were being offered an objective social media platform. If Facebook stifled conservative content from companies who purchased advertisements, such conduct may constitute fraud.
Thus far, Facebook has been in damage-control mode and has worked to try and regain trust lost after Facebook employees revealed that the company systematically stifles conservative content. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has met with conservative leaders and has attempted to smooth things over even as the social media company has maintained that there’s “no evidence” that they have been targeting conservatives.
Now Facebook is admitting that “rogue employees” may have targeted conservatives, but that the matter is being addressed internally.
Facebook denied that the company has orchestrated “systematic political bias,” but has admitted that employees have played a bigger role in determining what topics to advance via trending designations.
Facebook also admitted that rogue employees may have acted unintentionally in a biased manner against conservatives and that some may have even acted with malice in what the company deemed “isolated improper actions.”
Facebook has maintained that they intend to send employees for additional training and will be monitoring the practices of employees more closely.
Though it’s likely that Zuckerberg and his fellow Facebook liberals have tirelessly tinkered with algorithms to affect conservative content, one should consider that the culture of a corporation is set from the top downwards. Such “rogue employees” (if we are to believe that they are, indeed, “rogue”) do not exist in a vacuum. They take their cues from company leaders.
Further, the issue of bias is hardly new. Certain content can land a company in “Facebook jail” if they promote too much of the “wrong” content- content which can include pro-traditional marriage or anti-radical Muslim postings.
Forgoing statistical analysis, it’s easy to see empirical evidence of an ideological double standard that has existed for years.