Facebook's conservative shift - The Washington Post
(Source: washingtonpost.com)

clicks | a month ago | comments: discuss | tags: cryptocurrency


Article preview (bot search)

(Original link: washingtonpost.com)

Yet by at least one metric, Facebook’s moves have succeeded — in appeasing a disruptive, unpredictable president. Just last month in Davos, Switzerland, Trump said of Zuckerberg on CNBC, “He’s done a hell of a job.” Power shift in Washington Soon after Facebook’s meeting on Project P, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowskicame to Facebook’s Washington headquarters offering to advise the company on how to handle the new White House, according to people familiar with the meeting, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive internal matters. The shifting power in Washington was a serious issue for the company. Its employees had donated just $5,171 to Trump, compared with $1.1 million to fundraising committees affiliated with Democrat Hillary Clinton, with nearly half that amount coming from two of Zuckerberg’s closest confidantes, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and then-chief product officer Chris Cox, according to the political analytics firm GovPredict . AD AD But the meeting with Lewandowski sparked outrage within an office still reeling from the election. Particularly upset were several Democrats, including director of U.S. public policy, Catlin O’Neill, a former chief of staff to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the granddaughter of a legendary Pelosi predecessor, Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill (D-Mass.), said people familiar with the visit and its aftermath. Facebook decided not to retain Lewandowski, who declined to comment on the details of the visit aside from saying by text, “Please be sure to include the facts that I have never worked for them or been paid by them — they solicited me for a meeting and I attended.” But the encounter left many within the company uneasy about what Trump and his allies might do — or perhaps worse, what he might tweet. The company gradually implemented policies to combat false, misleading news reports through new transparency initiatives and a system of third-party fact-checkers, a move that upset some Republicans. It also adopted its first policy against “coordinated inauthentic behavior” — essentially using bots, fake accounts or other amplification tactics to manipulate the platform, as Russians and others had in 2016 — and bolstered its security team to police violations. Complaints eventually grew, however, that conservatives were being unfairly targeted by these moves and by long-standing content policies, such as the prohibition against hate speech. Moves to ban conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and right-wing media stars Milo Yiannopoulos in 2019 for being “dangerous,” for example, generated allegations of censorship by “Big Tech” among more mainstream conservatives. As these and other complaints against Facebook grew among Republicans, Trump often amplified them over rival social media platform Twitter, where his following tops 72 million users. “Facebook was always anti-Trump,” he tweeted on Sept. 27, 2017, amid the scandal over Russian efforts to use social media to help elect him. The following month, he added, “Crooked Hillary Clinton spent hundreds of millions of dollars more on Presidential Election than I did. Facebook was on her side, not mine!” Crooked Hillary Clinton spent hundreds of millions of dollars more on Presidential Election than I did. Facebook was on her side, not mine! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 21, 2017 Trump leveled similar charges against other technology companies, as he did in December 2018: “Facebook, Twitter and Google are so biased toward the Dems it is ridiculous!” But often Facebook bore the brunt of the president’s wrath, as it did after a pair of pro-Trump social media personalities, “Diamond and Silk,” accused the company of censoring them after they received a warning about posting “unsafe” content. (The company later said it had acted in error.) “The wonderful Diamond and Silk have been treated so horribly by Facebook. They work so hard and what has been done to them is very sad - and we’re looking into” it, Trump tweeted in May 2019. “It’s getting worse and worse for Conservatives on social media!” The wonderful Diamond and Silk have been treated so horribly by Facebook. They work so hard and what has been done to them is very sad - and we’re looking into. It’s getting worse and worse for Conservatives on social media! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2019 Rising internal GOP clout The role of helping the company maneuver through this treacherous new political landscape became a core responsibility for Kaplan, Facebook’s vice president for global public policy, who had joined the company in 2011, after eight years in the Bush White House and a stint as an energy lobbyist. The former Marine Corps officer had clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and, despite supporting former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) for president, met with Trump in December 2016 after the White House expressed interest in having him head the Office of Mana...