Published: 15 Oct 2019 |
Facebook’s history of abusing users’ trust by sharing their private data with corporate partners and government spooks pales in comparison to its CEO’s decision to sit down with prominent conservatives, for some.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been meeting with conservative commentators, journalists, and politicians in “small, off-the-record dinners” and “informal talks,” Politico revealed on Monday, sending shockwaves through the internet. He reportedly discussed “free expression, unfair treatment of conservatives, fact checking, partnerships, and privacy” with prominent right-wing critics of Facebook, including Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Washington Examiner correspondent Byron York, and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.
This, the mainstream media and many liberals on social media have declared, is an outrage. The hashtag #DeleteFacebook was trending for most of Monday as Woke Twitter finally realized the fourth-richest man in the US, who infamously called Facebook users “dumb f***s,” was an unworthy trustee of their digital lives. Just kidding – they were upset that the platform had become yet another tool of white supremacy.
“The fear is that Zuckerberg is trying to appease the Trump administration by not cracking down on right-wing propaganda,” an anonymous “cybersecurity researcher and former government official based in Silicon Valley” told Politico, giving voice to the fears of many in the Democratic Party. Last week, the platform refused 2020 presidential frontrunner Joe Biden’s campaign’s request to remove a Trump campaign ad accusing Biden of promising Ukraine $1 billion to fire a prosecutor investigating the gas company that had hired his son. While Facebook promised that any “viral hoax” shared by a politician would be “demoted” and displayed alongside a fact-check, it pointed to a recently-revised policy against fact-checking “political speech” as the reason its hands were tied, leaving the Biden campaign – and the #Resistance – fuming.
Wounded liberals took to Twitter to voice their displeasure with Zuckerberg’s secret meetings, accusing Facebook of “poisoning our democracy” even as they made excuses for why they couldn’t delete Instagram or WhatsApp, both of which are owned by Facebook.
There was a time when doing progressive political outreach for @facebook (as I did at Medium) would have been a dream gig for me. Now the thought of giving such a hateful, dangerous platform any free content at all makes me want to vomit. #DeleteFacebook