Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg held a meeting with conservative media figures on Wednesday to hear their complaints that the social media platform suppresses right wing views. Afterwards, legendary paranoid misfit Glenn Beck was critical of his fellow conservatives for the hypocrisy of demanding “affirmative action.”
I sat through a meeting that, to me, felt like I was attending a Rainbow Coalition meeting, that people (not me) had come with a list of demands.
[…] It was like affirmative action for conservatives. When did conservatives start demanding quotas AND diversity training AND less people from Ivy League Colleges.
I sat there, looking around the room at ‘our side’ wondering, ‘Who are we?’ Who am I? I want to be very clear – I am not referring to every person in the room. There were probably 25-30 people and a number of them, I believe, felt like I did. But the overall tenor, to me, felt like the Salem Witch Trial: ‘Facebook, you must admit that you are screwing us, because if not, it proves you are screwing us.’
What happened to us? When did we become them? When did we become the people who demand the Oscars add black actors based on race?
Beck acknowledges the flawed premise of the controversy which occasioned this meeting: a single anonymous former Facebook ‘trending topics’ employee has leveled accusations that the service is deliberately suppressing conservative voices, but the available evidence says that content managers just favor hard reporting over blog opinion — as they should.
Nevertheless, conservative organizations have been raising a ruckus about it for two weeks, and many seemed disinclined to engage Facebook at all, preferring a more confrontational stance.
Sen. John Thune (R-SD) has even called on Zuckerberg to face a Senate committee and answer questions about the “fairness” and “neutrality” of his algorithms — ironic, given that Thune is an outspoken opponent of the long-dead Fairness Doctrine in radio and TV broadcasting.
And therein lies the hypocrisy that is blowing Glenn Beck’s mind: having risen to power on their supposedly-principled opposition to equality measures, the conservative movement is suddenly demanding special status as a class.
Suddenly, the same people who excuse Hollywood’s white supremacy at the Oscars want to have their views not just respected, but artificially boosted in social media. To his credit, Glenn Beck can see why that’s wrong.