Facebook is hiring two outside firms to conduct a political bias review after several accusations the social media giant is biased against conservatives.
After allegations of censoring conservatives — from Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, popular conservative political pundit Ben Shapiro, to outspoken Trump-loving personalities Diamond & Silk — Facebook’s reputation among the right has incurred a blow.
The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, along with Covington & Burling, a Washington-based law firm led by former Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl, will be advising Facebook in their audit, Axios reported on Wednesday.
“Getting outside feedback will help us improve over time — ensuring that we can more effectively serve the people on Facebook,” Facebook Vice President of Global Policy Joel Kaplan said, according to The Hill.
Heritage’s role is to hold meetings on issues of censorship with Facebook executives. On April 24, Heritage hosted Facebook’s head of global policy management, Monika Bickert, with Heritage’s tech policy expert, Klon Kitchen, to discuss how it plans to evolve in the face of conservative backlash.
“From what I’ve heard, it sounds encouraging that Facebook is taking steps to evaluate where things stand in the marketplace and hear concerns,” said Rob Bluey, vice president of communications at Heritage and editor-in-chief of The Daily Signal, Heritage’s media arm.
Kyl will internally examine the alleged bias against conservatives, and conservative groups will provide feedback directly to Facebook about the best way to move forward.
Facebook has made some steps in an effort to be more transparent. The tech giant invited reporters to sit in on one of its regular internal content review meetings on April 24 to see how the company goes through their manual review process.
In addition to the political bias auditing, Facebook will conduct a review of accusations the company discriminates against minority groups.
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Kyle Perisic was an intern at Heritage in Spring 2018
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