The Democrats' Unhinged Hearing With Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg

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Posted: Oct 24, 2019 5:36 PM
The Democrats' Unhinged Hearing With Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg

Source: (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Without question, there is a bias among Big Tech. They’re all based in Silicon Valley, California. They’re unabashedly liberal, though they understand that there is a conservative audience that has money. Often times, conservatives go about combating this bias in embarrassing fashion, usually flubbing the messaging part especially. Yet, for all of the Right’s faults in combating social media bias, Democrats showed yesterday that they’re not really all that far behind in spewing their nonsense about Facebook. The social media giant is working on its own cryptocurrency—Libra—but that didn’t stop Democratic lawmakers from making total clowns of themselves over issues that have its roots in the 2016 election (via NYT):

Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook chief executive, traveled to Washington to defend a cryptocurrency project that has become the latest target of lawmakers frustrated with the social media giant.

He ended up answering a smorgasbord of questions on other issues on Wednesday, as members of the House Financial Services Committee took him to task for everything from political advertising and disinformation campaigns to work force diversity and child pornography.

Representative Maxine Waters, the Democratic committee chairwoman, set the tone of the hearing early. She grilled Mr. Zuckerberg on Facebook’s willingness to allow unfettered speech across the platform and its recent decision to avoid vetting political advertising.

“The impact of this will be a massive voter suppression effort. Your claim to promote freedom of speech does not ring true,” Ms. Waters said.

In recent months lawmakers have spared neither Facebook nor Mr. Zuckerberg. On Wednesday, that criticism became more than five hours of political theater, making it glaringly apparent just how skeptical of Facebook Congress has become through nearly three years of controversy.

Again, it’s funny how politics can produce strange bedfellows, especially since Facebook has drawn the ire of conservatives for bias—but the hearing Mark Zuckerberg had with these far-left loonies was quite ridiculous. How dare Zuckerberg hear opinions that are different from the Leninist ethos of America’s social media industry. How dare he have conservatives over to his house for dinner? From some of the reactions from Democrats, you’d think Zuckerberg was holding a Nazi rally in his house. Reason’s Robby Soave has more on this circus:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) attacked Zuckerberg for allowing misleading political ads to appear on Facebook, something that has increasingly irritated high-profile Democrats as of late—most notably regulation-obsessed Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.), who recently warned that "Facebook is actively helping Trump spread lies and misinformation. Facebook already helped elect Donald Trump once. They might do it again—and profit off of it."

"I'm not talking about spin, I'm talking about actual disinformation," said Ocasio-Cortez, as if these are two things that Facebook content moderators could both easily distinguish and police in a fair and unbiased way.

Zuckerberg responded that he believed "in a democracy, people should be able to see for themselves what politicians which they may or may not vote for are saying, and judge their character for themselves." Ocasio-Cortez then pivoted to interrogating him about his "ongoing dinner parties with far-right figures, some of whom advance the conspiracy theory that white supremacy is a hoax."

The idea that Facebook's misleading political ads are any more threatening to democracy than the hours of ideological, agenda-driven advocacy for one party or another that appear on television and the radio every day is a kind of moral panic. Social media is certainly the newer phenomenon, and that has made it the object of hatred for legislators who reflexively fear something they don't understand and can't control.

 Rep. Al Green (D-TX) asked the Facebook founder how many LGBT employees were working on Libra, which is an illegal question to ask upon hiring. Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) accused Zuckerberg of racism…because, not enough black people are on Facebook. Soave hits it on the head. These clowns on the Hill don’t get the Internet or anything related to this business or its foundation. Remember the last time Mark was dragged up to the Hill where a lawmaker didn’t know that ads are how the company makes revenue. The late Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) described the internet as a series of tubes. It seems this shoddy grasp of what these guys do remains. 

On a side note, don’t be fooled by the Democrats’ outrage over so-called problematic content that’s posted on the platform. The National Rifle Association and even Townhall’s content would fall under their category for what should be banned from Facebook. They want it to be a safe space for liberals. They want it to be an exclusive platform for progressive ideals. When things don’t go their way, the Left predictably gets on the total warpath. I’ve seen stories about how Zuckerberg was unprepared and humiliated by progressive women as if this man is some Proud Boy. Zuckerberg is still rich. He’s eons smarter than anyone on the Hill, and he’s already seen how this plays out. I’ll bet the mortgage on that. But the overall point again is that if you think some Facebook ads are a threat to the republic, I don’t know where to start other than finding the nearest psychiatrist or drug rehab center and offer you directions to those locations. The institutional integrity of the U.S. can be undone—irreparably—by a social media ad? It’s a pathetic narrative. I’m sure mark is fine, knowing that half the planet uses his product and the billions he’s made for himself in the meantime. All of this while quietly laughing at the morons who tried to checkmate him on the Hill. I’d never thought I’d be defending Zuckerberg, but yesterday’s hearing was beyond ridiculous.