Tom Cotton (R-AR) slammed Facebook today in a comment to Breitbart News, arguing that it is playing favorites with political parties in the United States and should lose its Section 230 protections as a consequence. “Facebook has been intentionally suppressing traffic to Breitbart,” said Sen. Cotton in a statement. MANDEL NGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., interrupts a fellow senator during a confirmation hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee for CIA nominee Gina Haspel, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, May 9, 2018 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) “Not because of policy violations, but to protect liberal politicians. Any company that acts like a wing of the Democratic Party should not enjoy Section 230 protections.” The Arkansas senator made the comment in a statement to Breitbart News following the bombshell news that Facebook introduced tools after the 2016 election that slashed traffic to conservative publishers. 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 news emerged in a story from the Wall Street Journal, which shed new light on both Facebook’s censorship of conservatives, and the ceaseless agitation on the part of its left-wing employees for more punishment of Breitbart News and other conservative pages. 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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