It’s the responsibility of Congress to get to the bottom of this troubling issue
The top news story of the day is that Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, is answering questions before Congress about a data breach and possible censorship that his company has been involved in.
While many consider this to be a fool’s errand, and that the monster that is Facebook will never change, it’s also the responsibility of those in Congress to at least attempt to get to the bottom of this troubling issue.
Despite the fact that Facebook has made their bias very clear in the way that they filter the information that users see, they’re attempting to maintain that they’re only a vehicle for the information and that users get complete control over what they see on their own pages. If believed, This accomplishes a few things, not the least of which is that they can continue to filter content they don’t like, without being branded discriminatory.
However, in order to understand if the company truly has a bias among those making the decisions, the political affiliations of those people have to be factored in. According to Breitbart News, the politics of many of those working at Facebook is clear, not just by how they vote, but by who they’ve worked for:
“During his recent apology tour, Mark Zuckerberg notably failed to mention recent revelations about the Obama 2012 campaign’s exploitation of the platform’s weak pre-2014 data protections to harvest masses of data from non-consenting users. The number of ex-Obama staffers on his payroll, according to Linkedin, might explain why.
The establishment media narrative on the Facebook data scandal hit a snag last month. They hoped the story would be restricted to Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm that they linked to the Cruz and Trump campaigns, and their alleged misuse of data. But a bigger story soon emerged, linked to a longtime media favorite: Barack Obama.
By the admission of Barack Obama’s former media analytics director, Carol Davidsen, the former president hoovered up far more data without users’ consent in 2012, when Facebook’s data policies were (as Facebook now concedes) far more vulnerable to exploitation than they were in 2016.
Mark Zuckerberg admits that, prior to its strengthening of user protections in 2014, Facebook made a critical error in allowing third-party apps to harvest data not just from users who gave them consent, but from their non-consenting friends. What he didn’t mention was the digital campaigning tools developed by Obama for America were among the apps that took advantage of this loophole.
In the words of Carol Davidsen, who oversaw data analytics at Obama for America in 2012, the campaign was “actually able to ingest the entire social network of the U.S.” Davidsen made these comments publicly as early as 2015, but they received little attention at the time.
In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica story, Davidsen made another bombshell admission on social media — that Facebook representatives visited the Obama campaign offices after the 2012 election and told them they were allowed to get away with it because “they were on their side.”
They came to office in the days following election recruiting & were very candid that they allowed us to do things they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side.
— Carol Davidsen (@cld276) March 19, 2018
Conservatives, above everyone else, want business owners, Zuckerberg in particular, to understand that they have a plethora of freedoms in their business. The problem is that if Facebook truly is banning people and content over opinions that they don’t agree with, they’re completely contradicting the doctrine of tolerance that they’ve preached for so long.
What Congress needs first, is for Zuckerberg to be honest. Before seeing the names and employment backgrounds of some of the top staffers at Facebook, have a listen to what Zuckerberg said when questions by Texas Senator Ted Cruz about the political affiliations of those who decide what gets deleted off the Facebook that you supposedly control:
Now, while not all of those tens of thousands of people have public backgrounds that can be researched, there are plenty of high-level executives that do have public information about them on the world wide web. Many of which used to work for Obama and Clinton
After working for Obama, many of these employees returned to Facebook, some of whom now occupy senior positions at the company, according to their Linkedin profiles.
If you’d like to see the whole list, you may do so here
“Nureen Ehab Khadr, Marketing Specialist, Middle East & North Africa. Formerly an Organizing Fellow at Organizing for America.
Veronica Rocha, Contracts Administrator at Facebook. Formerly Organizing Fellow at Obama for America.
Rachel Jamail, Site Lead at Facebook. Formerly consulted with the office of FLOTUS Michelle Obama on “high-priority marketing initiatives.” Formerly a board member of the Anti-Defamation League.
Brett Brownell, Content Strategist at Facebook, previously worked as Deputy New Media Director for Pennsylvania in Obama’s 2008 campaign. Also worked for MSNBC and Mother Jones
David Ginsberg, currently Director of UX and Strategic Research at Facebook. Formerly debate prep lead for Vice President Joe Biden in 2012.
Joel Cohen, Client Solutions Manager for Travel at Facebook. Formerly Senior Manager for Digital Advertising at Hillary for America in 2016, and a Digital Advertising Strategist at Obama for America in 2012. In between the two campaigns, he also worked at Facebook.
Nellwyn Thomas, currently works in Data Science for Facebook. Formerly Deputy Chief Analytics Officer at Hillary for America.
In total, we found 45 employees who had previously worked or volunteered with the Hillary campaigns, the Obama campaigns, or the Obama White House and are now employed by Facebook, Facebook-owned companies, or the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative. This does not include Facebook employees who do not have Linkedin accounts or neglected to mention past experience on their profiles.
Facebook’s ties to the Obama White House are similar to that of Google, which also appeared to have a revolving-door relationship with the former administration. Andrew Breitbart once wrote of the ‘Democrat-media complex.’ Clearly, there now exists a ‘Democrat-Silicon Valley complex’ as well.
Facebook denies Carol Davidsen’s claim that the company gave the Obama campaign any special favors in 2012. A Facebook spokeswoman said, ‘both the Obama and Romney campaigns had access to the same tools, and no campaign received any special treatment from Facebook.’”