Rep. Steve Scalise, who was himself a former computer programmer, nailed Mark Zuckerberg on his algorithm and his platform’s political bias. Facebook is discriminating against the right.
He stood up for the right when most choose not to.
The Louisiana representative said, “I do want to ask you about a study that was done dealing with the algorithm that Facebook uses to describe what is fed to people through the newsfeed, and what they found was after this new algorithm was implemented was that there was a tremendous bias against conservative news and content and a favorable bias towards liberal content.”
Noting that there was a “16-point disparity,” which he called “concerning,” Scalise asked Zuckerberg who writes Facebook’s algorithm.
“Was there a directive to put this bias in?” he said, before asking if Zuckerberg was aware of such a bias.
In his response, Zuckerberg claimed there is “absolutely no directive in any of the changes that we make to have a bias in anything that we do. To the contrary, our goal is to be a platform for all ideas.”
Rep. Scalise asked him to get back to him with the information he requested.
If Zuckerberg is telling the truth, he needs to get after the things he doesn’t seem to know are happening. If he is lying, he needs to change his algorithm because this will influence the U.S. elections.
The media is already describing Rep. Scalise as a whiner telling tales.
Zuckerberg Called OFA Director a Liar
Recently, Carol Davidsen, the former director of integration and media analytics for Obama for America [OFA], said that Facebook discovered their campaign was misusing Facebook to massively mine user data by “sucking out the whole social graph.” They allowed it because they agreed with OFA, she added.
What Davidsen added is that while OFA technically didn’t break any rules, she said the action on OFA’s part still “felt dirty”.
Like Cambridge Analytica, Obama for America was able to look at a user’s friend list once they applied for the Obama campaign. The campaign then used the data to append their email list. It was called “targeted sharing”. She gave an example online.
Facebook was aware of the Obama campaign’s activity. Davidsen says they were “surprised” at the campaign’s actions. They were okay with it. Facebook representatives came to the campaign office and told them to continue because Facebook was on Obama’s side.
Rep. Scalise had no time left to follow up.
It wasn’t only Davidsen saying it, others have as well. An insider at Facebook named Sandy Parakilas told the Guardian he found it “horrifying” that numerous companies deployed these techniques used by Analytica, possibly affecting hundreds of millions of Facebook users.
He found the breaches in 2011 and 2012 but Facebook wouldn’t do anything about it.