Social media giants try to convince conservatives they aren’t biased

Social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook have been meeting with conservative leaders to show their platforms treat conservatives fairly, the Washington Post reports.

In recent years, conservatives have complained that their voices are either hidden or outright banned.

Facebook sent former Arizona Republican Senator John Kyl, who is well-respected in conservative circles, to meet with the likes of the Heritage Foundation and the Republican National Committee.

Facebook, like Twitter, enjoys a near-monopoly on its type of platform. While Republicans are ideologically less likely than Democrats to support regulating monopolies, Republicans might be more-inclined to support regulation if these social media companies were biased against Republicans.

Past accusations by conservatives resulted in Facebook and Twitter making major changes to their “trending news” features, with Facebook completely doing away with the feature.

A few times during the past few years, Facebook and Twitter have closed accounts that they felt were either controlled by algorithms, by hate groups, or by Russian “trolls.” While this action may be noble, these purges resulted in countless legitimate accounts also being closed down. Also, a double standard seemed apparent, as several major conservatives complained that left-wing bigots did not have their accounts closed.

The latter problem was amplified this past month when a group of large social media companies hired the Southern Poverty Law Center to help them determine which accounts were from hate groups.

The problem is that the SPLC is itself now considered a hate group; it has been sued for targeting people who are not bigots, and mainstream conservative groups are considering suing the SPLC for smearing them as hate groups.

The solution to reducing the perception of bias is for social media companies to hire a politically diverse workforce. These same social media companies, who consider it to be a travesty if insufficient women or African-Americans are hired, need to ask why so few conservatives are on their payroll — and why even non-conservative employees are afraid to state conservative viewpoints.


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