Facebook to rank news organizations based on “trustworthiness”: “It is acting as a boost or a suppression, and we’re going to dial up the intensity of that over time”
Mark Zuckerberg’s meeting at the hotel “included representatives from BuzzFeed News, the Information, Quartz, the New York Times, CNN, the Wall Street Journal, NBC, Recode, Univision, Barron’s, the Daily Beast, the Economist, HuffPost, Insider, the Atlantic, the New York Post, and others.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed his platform has started to rank news organizations based on “trustworthiness,” with low-ranking sources becoming suppressed.
“We put [that data] into the system, and it is acting as a boost or a suppression, and we’re going to dial up the intensity of that over time,” declared Zuckerberg during a speech at the Rosewood Sand Hill hotel, with media executives in the audience on Tuesday. “We feel like we have a responsibility to further [break] down polarization and find common ground.”
Zuckerberg did not clarify how the “trustworthiness” of news organizations would be ranked.
According to BuzzFeed, Zuckerberg’s meeting at the hotel “included representatives from BuzzFeed News, the Information, Quartz, the New York Times, CNN, the Wall Street Journal, NBC, Recode, Univision, Barron’s, the Daily Beast, the Economist, HuffPost, Insider, the Atlantic, the New York Post, and others.”
The Wexford/Missaukee Right to Life, an affiliate of Right to Life of Michigan, noticed on Oct. 4 that its advertising account on Facebook had been shut down. The group said it still is not sure why.
“I have heard that Facebook is run and managed by a group of biased liberals under the management of Mark Zuckerberg,” said Don Hoitenga, who manages the pro-life group’s Facebook page. “I can now believe the rumors as I have been banned from advertising on Facebook.”
‘Diamond and Silk have a question for you. And that question is, “What is unsafe about two black women supporting President Donald J. Trump?”‘
Zuckerberg brought up terrorism as an example of content that would be banned. ..‘Let me tell you right now, Diamond and Silk is not terrorism,’ Blackburn replied.
( Daily Mail ) Rep. Bill Long, a Missouri Republican, hauled out a picture of the two women and asked Zuckerberg to identify them.
‘I believe that, is that Diamond and Silk?’ Zuckerberg asked.
Long said it was. ‘That is Diamond and Silk, two biological sisters from North Carolina, I might point out they’re African-American, and their content was deemed by your folks to be “unsafe,”‘ Long said.
‘Diamond and Silk have a question for you. And that question is, “What is unsafe about two black women supporting President Donald J. Trump?”‘ he continued.
A number of Republican lawmakers asked Zuckerberg questions about the Trump-supporting sisters over his two days of testimony on Capitol Hill.
‘Well Congressman, nothing is unsafe about that,’ Zuckerberg answered.
Rep. Joe Barton, a Texas Republican, held up his phone and told Zuckerberg he was going to ask him a question that someone had submitted to the congressman’s Facebook account.
‘First question: Please ask Mr. Zuckerberg, why is Facebook censoring conservative bloggers such as Diamond and Silk? Facebook called them “unsafe” to the community. That is absurd. They hold conservative views. That isn’t unsafe,’ Barton said reading the question, and adding his own, ‘What’s your response?’
Zuckerberg explained that his team had made ‘an enforcement error.’
‘And we’ve already gotten in touch with them to reverse it,’ he said, referring to Diamond and Silk.
Another Congressman, Rep. Fred Upton, a Republican from Michigan referred to the video bloggers as ‘Silk and Diamond’ and then asked about an incident involving a GOP political candidate from his state who expressed pro-life views, and whose message was deemed a ‘threat’ by Facebook.
‘I’m not sure what the threat was when I read the post,’ Upton said.
Zuckerberg said he was unfamiliar with that particular case.
‘Unfortunately, we don’t always get these things right,’ the CEO told the lawmakers, adding that Facebook has 20,000 people to review content posted.
Later on in the hearing on Wednesday, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican running for Senate, asked whether free speech is being censored by the site.
Zuckerberg brought up terrorism as an example of content that would be banned.
‘Let me tell you right now, Diamond and Silk is not terrorism,’ Blackburn muttered at the end of her time.
Breitbart found 45 employees who had previously worked or volunteered with the Hilary campaigns, the Obama campaigns, or the Obama White House and are now employed by Facebook, Facebook-owned companies, or the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative. This does not include Facebook employees who do not have Linkedin accounts or neglected to mention past experience on their profiles.
Obama’s 2012 campaign staff and his subsequent White House team included several former employees of top Silicon Valley companies. After working for Obama, many of these employees returned to Facebook, some of whom now occupy senior positions at the company, according to their Linkedin profiles. They include:
David Recordon, former Director of IT for Obama’s White House. Recordon was Engineering Director at Facebook prior to his role at the White House, and returned to the position after the 2016 election. He is currently Engineering Director for the Chan-Zuckerberg initiative.
David Ploufe, President, Policy and Advocacy for the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative. Campaign Manager for Obama in 2008, and still sits on the board of the Obama Foundation.
Josh W. Higgins, currently Executive Creative Director at Facebook. Formerly Design Director at Obama for America.
Aneesh Raman, currently on the Economic Opportunity team at Facebook. Formerly held a number of positions in the Obama White House, including speechwriter to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Associate Director for Strategic Communication at the Department of Defence, and Speechwriter to the President.
Lauryn Ogbechie, currently manager of Facebook’s Education Partnerships Team. Formerly Digital Organizing Manager at Obama for America.
Danielle Cwirko-Godycki, Leadership Recruiting at Facebook, formerly a volunteer at Hillary for America and a fellow at Organizing for America.
Meredith Carden, currently on Facebook’s News Integrity team. Formerly worked at the office of Michelle Obama for two years.
Sarah Pollack, currently Associate Manager for Policy Communications at Facebook. Formerly directed media logistics at Hillary for America, and worked as a Press Advance Associate at the Obama White House. The first work experience listed on her Linkedin profile is an internship at the Clinton Global Initiative.
Ben Forer, Strategic Partner Development at Facebook. Formerly a New Media Intern in the Obama White House and a Social Media Specialist at the Clinton Foundation.
( Fox News ) Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg told lawmakers Tuesday that he was “not specifically aware” of any instance where the social network had removed content posted by liberal groups amid concerns that the platform is biased against conservatives.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told Zuckerberg that “a great many Americans” are “deeply concerned that Facebook and other tech companies are engaged in a pervasive pattern of bias and political censorship.” Cruz then ticked off a list of conservative content that he claimed had been “suppressed” by Facebook, “including stories about [2012 GOP presidential candidate] Mitt Romney [and] stories about the Lois Lerner IRS scandal.”
“In addition to that, Facebook has initially shut down the Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day page … 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.’
Facebook CEO and Chairman Mark Zuckerberg said Tuesday that he would like to use artificial intelligence tools to monitor and ban hate speech on the platform.
“Hate speech, I’m optimistic that over a five to ten-year period we will have AI tools that can get into some of the nuances, the linguistic nuances of different types of content to be more accurate in flagging things for our systems, but today we’re just not there on that.”
“So, a lot of this is still reactive, people flag it to us,” Zuckerberg stated. “We have people look at it. We have policies to try to make it as not subjective as possible, but until we get it more automated, there is a higher error rate than I’m happy with.”
Ted Cruz: “Cruz went on to cite the trending news scandal of 2016, in which it was reported that Facebook “routinely suppressed” conservative stories from its Trending News feature.”
In addition to that, Facebook has initially shut down the ‘Chick-fil-A appreciation day page,’ has blocked the post of a Fox News reporter, has blocked over two dozen Catholic pages, and most recently has blocked the Trump supporters Diamond & Silk’s page – with 1.2 million Facebook followers – after determining that their content and brand were ‘unsafe for the community’.”
While other senators on today’s committee on Facebook panicked about “hate speech” and “fake news,” Texas Senator Ted Cruz, alone, grilled Zuckerberg on an issue that matters to voters: censorship of dissident voices and political bias at Facebook.
Cruz raised a number of issues during his questioning, including the recent censorship of Diamond & Silk on Facebook, the controversial firing of Oculus VR founder Palmer Lucky, and the question of Facebook’s legal status as a neutral public forum.
Sen. Cruz started by asking if Facebook considers itself to be a “neutral public forum.” This was third on Breitbart News’ list of recommended questions published earlier today, and Cruz has used the question to put social media companies on the spot before.
Zuckerberg avoided giving Cruz a direct yes-or-no answer, despite the Senator asking numerous times.
Cruz went on to cite the trending news scandal of 2016, in which it was reported that Facebook “routinely suppressed” conservative stories from its Trending News feature.
“In addition to that, Facebook has initially shut down the ‘Chick-fil-A appreciation day page,’ has blocked the post of a Fox News reporter, has blocked over two dozen Catholic pages, and most recently has blocked the Trump supporters Diamond & Silk’s page – with 1.2 million Facebook followers – after determining that their content and brand were ‘unsafe for the community’.”
In response, Zuckerberg said concerns over political bias were “fair,” and conceded that Silicon Valley is an “extremely left-leaning place.”
Zuckerberg said that he aimed to “root [bias] out at the company” and make sure that “we don’t have any bias in the work that we do.”
Pressed by Cruz, Zuckerberg also conceded that he did not know the political orientation of the “15-20,000 people” who work on content review at Facebook.
Cruz also raised the issue of the firing Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus VR which was later bought by Facebook. Luckey was fired following a media witch-hunt, after he was revealed to be one of Silicon Valley’s few Trump supporters in 2016. Zuckerberg told Cruz that his firing was “not because of a political view” and that the company does not make firing decisions based on what candidates employees supported.