A shareholder at the most recent meeting of Facebook executives said he tried to ask CEO Mark Zuckerberg for further explanation about his social media site’s perceived bias against conservatives, but got the cold shoulder.
The question, from National Center Free Enterprise Project director Justin Danhof to Zuckerberg: “Whether you’re willing to admit the company has a bias problem or if you think bias is merely a matter of perception, the face is that perception is very often reality. Facebook has an extra duty to overcome this problem now that the company ha[s] been called out by former employees for targeting conservatives. My question is this: what affirmative steps are in place to increase transparency regarding Facebook’s news section and its removal of pages and posts?”
Danhof also asked for Zuckerberg to issue a statement to those conservative groups and individuals who’ve been “harmed” by Facebook’s “bias actions,” he said, according to a written statement from the National Center for Public Policy Research.
As Danhof said: nothing.
“When I confronted Zuckerberg over Facebook’s mistreatment of conservatives, he sat mute and deferred to another company executive,” Danhof said. “That gentleman claimed that Facebook’s own internal investigation had exonerated the company, saying that there is no bias against conservatives on the company’s platforms. In his next breath, though, he admitted that Facebook is making changes to its trending news platforms. Why is Facebook making the change [if] there is nothing wrong?”
Danhof also described the shareholders’ meeting as lacking in professionalism.
“It was amateur hour as chaos and disorganization ruled the day,” he said, telling how the investors had been handed a book at the outset of the gathering outlining the rules of conduct for speaking, but that Facebook managers then completely disregarded their own policy. “From the beginning, when the meeting didn’t even start on time, to the company’s inability to follow its own guidelines and agenda for the meeting, it was clear that Facebook’s management team had little respect for its investors in attendance. And the company’s continued denial that it has ever been biased against conservatives flies in the face of reality.”
He also slammed Zuckerberg taking an “elitist” approach to his business.
“Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg clearly moves in an elitist Silicon Valley circle in which conservative thought and opinion is verboten. While it’s totally fine for him to engage in extreme left-wing politics and public policy issues in his personal life, as the CEO of a company whose role in the media landscape is growing, he should be aware that his personal actions are often applied to Facebook’s brand,” Danhof said.