Facebook accused of playing the game of Trump against Twitter

Mark Zuckerberg, le fondateur de Facebook, le 25 octobre 2019, à New York.
Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, on October 25, 2019, at New York. Mark Lennihan / AP

Mark Zuckerberg expected probably to elicit reactions in contrast to Twitter in full controversy with Donald Trump. ” We have a different policy. I simply have the belief that Facebook should not be the arbiter of the truth of what people say on the Internet “, he argued on Fox News, Thursday, may 28, after the network competitor has, for the first time, labeled two of the Tweet, the american president, with the statement ” it is misleading “. This output, immediately hailed on Twitter by the head of State, is Facebook being accused, once again, to make the game of the republicans and Donald Trump.

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“Zuckerberg went on Fox News a machine for cash and hatred which gives a megaphone to racist and conspiracy to say that social networks should, in sum, let the politicians lie without consequences. It also erodes our democracy,” has thundered the ex-candidate for the nomination democrat Elizabeth Warren, on Twitter.

“Social networks do not want to be regulated, then they flatter the White House. Look at what Mark Zuckerberg, of Facebook, said today. This is not only from the flattery “, she said democrat Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the house of representatives. ” They hide behind the freedom of expression “, but ” their economic model is to make money at the expense of the truth and the facts,” she added. Many other internet users or observers have criticized the founder of Facebook take the party of Donald Trump.

A political stance

Ironically, the moderation policy of Facebook is different than Twitter, but not so far away. The network of microblogging has labeled as misleading a Tweet from Mr. Trump, according to which the vote by correspondence would facilitate electoral fraud. Then another presidential message, about the clashes at Minneapolis (Minnesota), after the death of a black man killed by police : ” If the riots start, we will begin to shoot “, threatened the Tweet, considered to be contrary to ” the rules of Twitter regarding the glorification of violence “.

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In comparison, Facebook has certainly excluded, in September 2019, messages, and advertisements posted directly by political figures in the field of content verified by its network of media partners. But these teams of “fact-checking” can label as misleading articles posted on Facebook mentioning about public officials. And, during the crisis of the coronavirus, Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram have, such as Twitter, deleted the contents of the presidents of brazil and venezuela, Jair Bolsonaro and Nicolas Maduro. They were spreading false medical information showing ” a real risk of physical harm “, has justified Facebook.

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In reality, the message of Mark Zuckerberg on Fox News is also a political stance. It is part of a series of signals addressed for several years by the enterprise to the republicans. Indeed, from 2016, these accuse Facebook of too lean left, like the other technology companies in california’s Silicon Valley. During the presidential campaign victory of Mr. Trump, the social network has dismantled a team to highlight some of the articles widely shared on the platform, after having been accused, without evidence, to the disadvantage of the voices on the conservative side.

A ” problem “

To appease critics, Facebook has then met with the republicans. The company has left a senator, Jon Kyl, launch, in 2018, an ” audit ” on the ” bias “ supporter of social networking, conducting interviews with representatives or associations conservative.

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In parallel, Joel Kaplan, a manager of Facebook from within the ranks republicans, has taken on a growing importance in the entourage of Mark Zuckerberg, according to a recent survey by the Wall Street Journal. This former adviser to president George W. Bush, now head of public affairs of Facebook to Washington, would have slowed the internal initiatives of fight against the ” polarization “ of the political discourse on the platform, according to the newspaper. It would be the opposite of those who are concerned about the possible role played by Facebook in the election of Mr. Trump, and in the rise of about clivants and hateful.

The article in the Wall Street Journal illustrates a ” problem ” of Facebook, according to his former security officer, Alex Stamos : ” This is the same team [to which belongs Mr. Kaplan] who is responsible for setting the rules on the flatshape and cajole the governments. “ At the end of 2018, Mr. Kaplan had already given rise to protests among the employees of the social network, showing his support to his friend Brett Kavanaugh, a candidate for Donald Trump in the supreme Court of the United States.

Avoid making the subject of new regulations

More recently, in the summer of 2019, Mark Zuckerberg has met several of his homes officials, republicans and columnists of media conservatives, including Tucker Carlson, of Fox News, who accused him of ” contributing to the death of freedom of expression in the United States “, reported the website Politico. The founder of Facebook, has also met two times in Donald Trump, especially in the presence of Peter Thiel, a member of the board of directors of Facebook and one of the few entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley openly pro-Trump.

Some voices from the left american, Facebook wants so much to avoid appearing pro-democrat and ended it by leaning to the right. More prosaically, the company wants to avoid being the subject of new regulations by the us president, the threat regularly. Thursday, 28 may, Donald Trump has issued an executive order that calls on federal agencies to review the section 230 (c) of the Communications Decency Act, a 1996 law that limits the liability of social networks hosts content posted by internet users.

Read also Usa : Donald Trump wants to deprive the social networks of their protection

During the signing of the text of the White House, the justice minister, William Barr, was present. However, the latter is also the head of a major antitrust investigation, which must determine if Facebook has abused its power and violated the competition law, in particular by acquiring WhatsApp and Instagram.

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