Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) slammed “Silicon Valley liberals” for targeting Breitbart News following news that Facebook introduced features which suppressed the traffic of Breitbart News and other conservative publishers by up to twenty percent. In an exclusive comment to Breitbart News, the Tennessee senator said Big Tech had made a habit of squashing contrary opinions will propping up Marxist movements. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) speaks during a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on September 21, 2021. – The hearing is titled Big Data, Big Questions: Implications for Competition and Consumers. (Photo by Ting Shen / POOL / AFP) Mark Zuckerberg drinking (Getty/Chip Somodevilla ) “Silicon Valley liberals have long targeted conservative news sites like Breitbart for unabashedly reporting the news,” said Sen. Blackburn. “Now we have indisputable proof.” “Woke liberals at Facebook are shocked when their fragile views are challenged. Rather than allow Facebook users to be exposed to a wide range of opinions, they’d rather squash dissent. That’s exactly why Facebook suppressed news sources from reporting about Hunter Biden’s laptop and propped up Marxist groups like Black Lives Matter.” Sen. Blackburn issued her statement in response to a story in the Wall Street Journal which quoted Facebook’s own researchers admitting that changes to the platform after 2016 had suppressed the traffic of conservative publishers, including Breitbart News. Via Breitbart News: The company introduced two tools after the 2016 election that disproportionately harmed conservative publishers.
The Journal highlights internal Facebook research showing that if both tools were removed, it would increase traffic to Breitbart News by 20 percent, the Washington Times by 18 percent, Western Journal by 16 percent, and the Epoch Times by 11 percent. Facebook eventually removed one of the tools while keeping the other — but it is unclear which of them had the most impact on traffic. According to the Wall Street Journal, one of Facebook’s researchers feared, “We could face significant backlash for having ‘experimented’ with distribution at the expense of conservative publishers.” The story also revealed that Breitbart News is relegated to a “second tier” of the platform’s News Tab, where it gets less exposure than its corporate establishment competitors. On top of this, Facebook is directly paying Breitbart News’s competitors, establishment media conglomerates including the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times — while offering no such compensation to Breitbart News.
The Wall Street Journal’s story also shed light on relentless efforts by Facebook employees to further censor conservative media. In a leaked discussion from Facebook’s “racial justice chatroom,” employees discussed potential changes to the platform’s rules to eject Breitbart News from the News Tab altogether. Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.
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