Facebook fights accusations of anti-conservative agenda

  • 19/05/2016
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg (AAP)
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg (AAP)

At Facebook's headquarters , chief executive Mark Zuckerberg met as many as 15 leading conservatives -- including former Republican senator Jim Demint, Barry Bennett, a senior Trump adviser, and commentator Glenn Beck.

"I just want to listen. I just want to look Mark Zuckerberg in the eye and get a gauge of him as a man -- and see if he's telling the truth," Mr Beck said.

Mr Zuckerberg says he called the meeting "to have a direct conversation about what Facebook stands for." 

It's a response to accusations made on tech news site Gizmodo by anonymous former Facebook workers. They claim editors of the website's "trending" section routinely blocked conservative issues.

Zuckerberg wrote "we have found no evidence that this report is true".

But Matt Schlapp of the American Conservative Union says he declined today's invitation because Facebook has spurned his organisation in the past.

"When we went to Facebook and said 'will you work with us, will you show us how to use Facebook better, would you help us get our conservative message out' -- they were not very interested in assisting us."

Attorney David Green, who defends civil liberties at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, sees the Facebook meeting as evidence the first amendment is alive and well on the internet.

"Facebook hasn't done anything wrong," he said.

"I think it's really a nice model to the way free speech works in our country. They have the right to make these editorial decisions; and other people have the right to call them on them and say 'we don't like it'."

CBS News

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