FILE - In this June 11, 2014, file photo, a man walks past a mural in an office on the Facebook campus in Menlo Park, Calif. On Thursday, May 12, 2016, Facebook pulled back the curtain on how its Trending Topics feature works, a reaction to a report that suggested Facebook downplays conservative news subjects. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

Facebook and Conservatives

The most horrifying thing to me about the Facebook story and conservatives is not that there has been one largely unsubstantiated complaint by a former employee, but that conservatives have begun acting like the professional grievance mongers of the left. The American Conservative Union actually put out a statement that they would not go to the meeting because, in part, Facebook had not written a check to subsidize CPAC. Yes, they actually claimed that.

Just read these from the Chairman of the American Conservative Union:

Facebook has a history of agitating against conservatives and conservative policies, especially when it comes to ACU’s own conference, CPAC. The facts are:
1) Facebook staff has admitted to suppressing content about CPAC.
2) Facebook rejected ACU’s overtures for Facebook to play a meaningful role at CPAC. 1
3) The deck is stacked: CPAC content egregiously underperforms on Facebook compared to Twitter and other platforms by factors of 10.
4) The Facebook Trending News Chief, Tom Stocky is a maxed-out donor to Hillary Clinton.
5) Of the 1,000 political donations from Facebook employees, 80% have gone to liberals.
6) Facebook holds liberal positions on important issues such as privacy, property, and priests.

When the hell did conservatives start demanding private businesses set up affirmation action plans for conservatives? That’s essentially what this is.

And CPAC content? Really? We’re going to go there?

The behavior of some conservatives on this issue is shameful. We should start trying to figure out who the Jesse Jackson and the Al Sharpton are of the conservative movement considering many in the movement are turning into shakedown artists. And it is no coincidence that the same pool of conservative shake down artists are starting to make kissy face with Trump.

In any event, I’m glad to see Glenn Beck feels the same way.

In a country that is deeply divided, the largest and most important company in human interaction and content consumption saw the conservative movement in an uproar over ONE person, making ONE accusation, against ONE of their products. One story and the pitchforks came out. Now that’s something we conservatives are accustomed to, but not so much for those on the left. Sure, the purpose of the meeting today was to appease the angry voices, at least to some degree. They took the opportunity to explain to us the details of their products and how they really can’t be consciously biased, although they did admit that unconscious bias can creep in. But to me, the purpose of the meeting from Facebook’s point of view was to acknowledge that if one story and one accusation can bring out the pitchforks, the more fundamental issue to address is a lack of trust.

I’m glad Facebook reached out. I’m glad Mark Zuckerberg was willing to give us face time. He did not have to. Hell, based on the complaints, he could have merely suppressed the story and few would have ever even known.

Instead, he brings in a bunch of conservatives and a few of them decide they have to grandstand while others even go out of their way to say they won’t go to the meeting and they won’t be pawns and Facebook needs to start spreading the wealth around to have a meaningful conversation. Like hell they do. No conservative should make affirmative action and shakedown demands on a private company. That is essentially what some have tried to do.

It’s no better than Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton.

1. It is worth noting that Facebook is helping fund the Republican National Convention and has sponsored conservative events, including the RedState Gathering. CPAC was actually an exception, not the rule.

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Erick Erickson

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