Facebook’s anti-conservative bias audit sparks backlash

A Facebook audit which found the company needs to do “significant work” to satisfy the concerns of conservatives has prompted a backlash from conservatives and liberals alike.

The Menlo Park, Calif. firm conducted the year-long audit in consultation with 133 conservative organizations or politicians and was led by former Republican Sen. Jon Kyl. It found that interviewees had concerns about Facebook’s content distribution and algorithms, content policies and enforcement, ad policies and ad enforcement, and workplace viewpoint diversity.

“Facebook insists that it is committed to safety, equal treatment and building community. …This may involve some tradeoffs between safety and free expression, we do not believe there is any need to cut off robust diversity of thought,” Kyl stated in the report. “Indeed, conservatives consistently expressed the view that, while platform users should be protected from harm, no one has a right to not feel offended or to be immune from criticism.”

The report detailed a range of recently announced policy changes meant to address some of these concerns, but the audit itself was blasted by Republicans and liberal activists.

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