FB shielded conservative groups from enforcement action: Report

… a federal appeals court in the US rejected a lawsuit that alleged that Twitter, Facebook, Apple and Google conspired to silence conservative voices.

San Francisco, Nov 2 (IANS) Facebook reportedly shielded conservative groups — including associates of President Donald Trump – from any action for violating its policies as the social networking giant worried about the perception of anti-conservative bias, The Washington Post reported.

Facebook fact-checkers avoided punishing conservative groups for breaking the rules over the past few months and the goal was to avoid the perception of being biased against conservative groups.

The report that appeared on Sunday examined posts and ad spending along with internal Facebook documents.

It found accounts that included Donald Trump Jr and a pro-Trump super PAC were shielded from Facebook’s most serious enforcement actions.

Facebook did not immediately comment on the report.

Twitter, Facebook and Google CEOs were grilled last week by a US Senate panel amid allegations that Big Tech companies show anti-conservative bias.

The conservatives, including Republicans, have long been complaining about the anti-conservative bias on social media, including Facebook.

But there’s been little evidence that such bias exists on Facebook.

Trump even suggested to forming a panel that would examine complaints of anti-conservative bias and censorship on social media platforms.

Trump has on many occasions alleged that the platforms like Facebook and Twitter do not give equal weightage to conservative views.

“The Radical Left is in total command & control of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google,” he tweeted.

The US President added that the administration is “working to remedy this illegal situation.”

In a White House meeting last year, Trump, who is a prolific Twitter user, complained to the company’s CEO Jack Dorsey that he was losing followers.

On one occasion, Trump even accused Twitter of playing “political games.”

Social media platforms have said that its rules are impartial.

In May this year, a federal appeals court in the US rejected a lawsuit that alleged that Twitter, Facebook, Apple and Google conspired to silence conservative voices.

The suit, filed in 2018 by nonprofit Freedom Watch and right-wing YouTube personality Laura Loomer, accused the four tech companies of stifling First Amendment rights.

The ruling dismissing the suit came on the same day Trump warned social media giants that his government could “strongly regulate” or “close them down” after Twitter fact-checked one of his tweets for the first time.

–IANS

na/