Mark Zuckerberg understands why conservatives think uber-liberal Silicon Valley is stacked against them. So he went on Fox News Friday to try to convince them otherwise.
“I haven’t seen a lot of data that suggest that there’s a negative impact,” the Facebook co-founder told Dana Perino in an interview that aired Friday on “The Daily Briefing.”
The data often show the exact opposite. “In fact, a lot of conservative media does quite well on social media — not just Facebook,” he added.
Zuckerberg’s sit-down was the latest chapter in Facebook’s charm offensive in response to charges of bias from conservatives, including President Donald Trump.
There’s little evidence to back up those claims. But they’ve ramped up the potential for new tech regulations — and even a breakup of tech giants like Facebook.
Zuckerberg has pushed back against the notion that splintering his company, which owns Instagram and WhatsApp, would answer the lingering questions around privacy and election security.
“I basically think each of those problems requires work on our part, but also the government,” he said.
Granting an interview to Fox News, which has elevated many of the GOP’s bad-faith criticisms of Facebook, was notable.
Politico reported on Monday that Zuckerberg has also hosted meetings in recent months with media figures including own-the-libs pundit Ben Shapiro and Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Those gatherings have apparently done little to tamp down pressure from the right.
“I understand why people would ask the question of, ‘Are my ideas getting a fair shake?’” Zuckerberg said Friday. “All I can say is this is something I care deeply about. I want to make sure we can be a platform for all ideas.”
The outreach to the right, including a Republican-led bias “audit” and enlistment of The Daily Caller as a fact-checking partner, has led some progressives to argue that Facebook actually tilts in favor of conservatives. That feeling boiled over in recent weeks when Facebook refused to remove a Trump campaign ad that falsely accused former Vice President Joe Biden of corruption in Ukraine.
Zuckerberg tried to sell the decision as a vote for free expression in a winding speech to Georgetown students on Thursday. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who’s become one of Big Tech’s loudest critics from the left on antitrust grounds, panned it almost immediately.
Cover: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Georgetown University in a ‘Conversation on Free Expression” in Washington, DC on October 17, 2019. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)