Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Sets Meeting With Glenn Beck and Other Conservatives Amid Bias Claims
"The question that needs to be answered Wednesday is: Will Mark see this as an opportunity to free all points of view but at the same time unify America and the world," Beck wrote in a Facebook post.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is planning a meeting with Glenn Beck and other conservative media personalities after allegations of bias arose last week against the social media website.
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Zuckerberg this week will meet with a group "conservative thought leaders," including Beck; Fox News Channel host Dana Perino; Zac Moffatt, who co-founded media-buying firm Targeted Victory; and Arthur Brooks, president of American Enterprise Institute, a public policy research organization.
Beck revealed in a Facebook post updated Sunday that he'd been invited by Zuckerberg to meet in the company's Menlo Park, Calif., offices on the heels of a Gizmodo report that quoted an anonymous former employee as saying that staffers frequently omitted stories about conservative news topics from Facebook's list of trending topics.
"Many voices and posts were deleted or insured to never trend according to a report. Ted Cruz, CPAC, The Blaze and I were specifically named," Beck wrote in his Facebook post. "Mark wanted to meet with 8 or ten of us to explain what happened and assure us that it won't happen again."
Beck went on to say he was working to "rearrange his schedule" to make the meeting, set for Wednesday..
"The question that needs to be answered Wednesday is: Will Mark see this as an opportunity to free all points of view but at the same time unify America and the world," Beck wrote in his Facebook post. "While they are a private business and I support their right to run it any way they desire without government interference, it would be wonderful if a tool like face book INDEPENDENTLY CHOSE to hold up Freedom of speech and freedom of association as a corporate principle. It doesn't count if they are doing it because of boycotts or pressure groups. In fact, if he had the balls to tell me that he was courting me due to pressure groups I would disagree with his business plan but join him in the fight to make his own decisions with his company against the pressure groups."
Last week, Zuckerberg said the company was investigating the claims but had yet to find evidence to support them. A U.S. Senate committee also is looking into Facebook's practices.
"If we find anything against our principles, you have my commitment that we will take additional steps to address it," Zuckerberg wrote.
In a separate blog post, the company said a series of checks and balances — involving both software formulas and humans — ensures that stories displayed in the "Trending Topics" section aren't biased. The post linked to a 28-page internal document Facebook uses to determine trending topics, after the Guardian published a similar document that was leaked to it.
Facebook vp global operations and media partnerships Justin Osofsky said the guidelines ensure that stories in trending topics represent "the most important popular stories, regardless of where they fall on the ideological spectrum."
"The guidelines do not permit reviewers to add or suppress political perspectives," he said in a statement.