16 May 2016

Facebook accused of anti-conservative bias

2:18 pm on 16 May 2016

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is to meet this week with prominent US conservatives in the media to address allegations of political bias.

Mark Zuckerberg at the Mobile World Congress tech show in Barcelona

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: AFP

Facebook came under fire last week when an unnamed former employee claimed workers often omitted conservative political stories from the site's "trending" list of topics.

Mr Zuckerberg said the company has found no evidence of that, but will continue to investigate.

And a US senate committee has also opened an inquiry into Facebook's practices.

Twelve "conservative thought leaders" will join the meeting with Mr Zuckerberg on Wednesday, a Facebook spokesman said.

Among those invited include media personality Glenn Beck, Fox News' The Five co-host Dana Perino and Zac Moffatt, and co-founder of Targeted Victory - a technology company that aims to bring transparency to media buying.

Mr Beck, a former Fox News host, took to Facebook early Sunday to say he is going to the meeting in Menlo Park, California, and "it would be interesting to look him (Zuckerberg) in the eye as he explains".

"While they are a private business and I support their right to run it any way they desire without government interference, it would be wonderful if a tool like face book [sic] INDEPENDENTLY CHOSE to hold up Freedom of speech and freedom of association as a corporate principle," he wrote.

According to a study last year by the Pew Research Center and the Knight Foundation, 63 percent of users, or 41 percent of all American adults, said they got their news from the site.