Facebook is sponsoring the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) only roughly a year after the tech conglomerate was accused of suppressing news stories more appealing to conservatives.
CPAC is an annual political convention attended by elected officials, activists, and influential organizations within the larger conservative movement.
Facebook is now donating $62,500 to the conservative event, according to Politico. The tech company also plans on teaching conservative-leaning candidates who attend the event how to use its platform to reach the public — namely new voters.
While Silicon Valley is largely liberal, Facebook appears to be trying to regain trust among conservatives.
Former Facebook workers reportedly admitted in May to stifling conservative news and favoring the placement of liberals stories, according to Gizmodo.
After backlash, the social media company fired around 15-18 employees who worked on the platform’s trending news section, in an attempt to replace any possibility of bias with an algorithm.
Since then, Facebook employed the media outlet Snopes to help purge misleading news from its platform, even though Snopes employs left-leaning people almost exclusively. They also hired a former CNN anchor who is very outspoken about her anti-President Donald Trump bias.
“They definitely need to be building relationships with conservatives,” Rob Bluey, the vice president of publishing at the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, told Politico. “There’s a sizable number of Trump voters who are using Facebook. I don’t think from a business standpoint [Zuckerberg] wants to lose those people because it’s going to harm his company.”
Facebook is also hosting a happy hour event during CPAC, according to Politico. (RELATED: Pennsylvania Liquor Laws Essentially Suspended For The Democratic National Convention)
Facebook was one of the several tech companies trying to combat Trump’s political maneuvers banning immigration from certain countries, both verbally and procedurally. It was one of the 97 companies that joined in filing a brief to the circuit court dealing with the original executive order.
Zuckerberg also wrote a lengthy post on his social media profile detailing how he is certainly against the mandates Trump has issued, but did concede he “was glad to hear President Trump say he’s going to ‘work something out’ for Dreamers.”
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