The questioning got so hot during the grilling by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) Tuesday afternoon that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was ready to take a break from the session afterward.
Cruz first asked Zuckerberg, “Does Facebook consider itself a neutral public forum?”
Zuckerberg responded, “We consider ourselves a platform for all ideas,” then added when pressed, that certainly they try to keep out hate speech, terrorist content, nudity, “anything that makes people feel unsafe.”
Then Cruz laid into him for the pervasive pattern of bias and political censorship by Facebook of trending conservative news, giving several examples, including stories about CPAC, the Lois Lerner IRS scandal Glenn Beck, shut down Chick-fi-La appreciation day page, blocked posts of Fox News reporter, blocked over two dozen Catholic pages, and “most recently blocked Trump supporters Diamond and Silk’s page of over 1.2 million supporters after determining their brand was ‘unsafe to the community.'”
“To a great many Americans, this appears to be a great pattern of political bias,” Cruz said.
Zuckerberg admitted that Facebook and the tech industry is located in Silicon Valley, and “extremely left-leaning place,” but claimed he tries to make sure that there is no bias in the work they do.
Cruz hit back, asking if he is aware of any page that has been taken down of Planned Parenthood, or MoveOn.org?
Watch the exchange below.
Ted Cruz asks if Facebook is a “neutral public forum”. Mark Zuckerberg admits Silicon Valley is an “extremely left-leaning place” and claims he tries to make sure the company does not have a political bias. pic.twitter.com/gaWw7ORQDY
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) April 10, 2018
Bam! @tedcruz exposes Zuckerberg and FB total hypocrisy for how they slant content and restrict people’s access to views they don’t like. Thanks @tedcruz because many of your colleagues don’t know much about the Interweb!
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) April 10, 2018
Sen. Ted Cruz provided the first truly difficult line of questioning for Zuckerberg. Zuck is going to have to offer more than just his personal assurances if he wants conservatives to trust that Facebook will not censor their content. https://t.co/AwE8flW4H4
— Amber Athey (@amber_athey) April 10, 2018