Nigel Farage echoed the arguments of the American right at the European Parliament meeting with Mark Zuckerberg, claiming that Facebook was censoring conservative voices, citing a sharp drop in commitment on its own page, that of President Trump and the pages of "other conservative commentators." Farage, a British politician who played a decisive role in the Brexit vote to leave the EU, currently represents the United Kingdom in the European Parliament, which is a legislative body of the EU.
Farage stated that those with "right" political views of the centers "were affected by a change in Facebook's algorithms in January of this year, and that" on average, we decreased by 25 percent over the course of this year. "It was not clear where Farage was, he was extracting his data from.)
Farage said he had been watching American audiences closely, and asked if Facebook was a" neutral "political platform, apparently reflecting the line of Sen. Ted Cruz's Q. Question from the Senate hearing last month. (Leave.EU, the Brexit campaign led by Nigel Farage, used Cambridge Analytica, as did Cruz in his 2016 campaign.) After Zuckerberg's testimony , the Judicial Committee of the House established another hearing, mainly focused on the supposed censorship of conservatives such as the personalities of the Diamond and Silk social networks.
Farage did not mention Diamond and Silk, but he did recognize briefly the role of Facebook in the surprise victories of the right in the Brexit elections, the Trump elections and the elections in Italy. He said that "it was social networks that allowed people to be behind conventional media."
Farage played a significant role in the events that led to the current Facebook data exchange scandal and the scrutiny under which the company is located today. According to The Guardian Farage is a close friend of Robert and Rebekah Mercer, the main American conservative donors behind Cambridge Analytica, as well as Steve Bannon, who is closely linked to Cambridge Analytica. In March, informant Christopher Wylie called Cambridge Analytica's misuse of Facebook data "traps in our democratic process" and said it may have influenced the outcome of the Brexit election.
Farage did not mention his relationship with Cambridge Analytica in his questions, and suggested that before the recent algorithm changed, Facebook had simply been an instrument for successful grassroots conservative campaigns. Now those campaigns are being "discriminated against".
Later, Zuckerberg responded briefly, saying: "I can commit to you here today and we will never make decisions about what content is allowed or how we do ranking on the basis of a political orientation. philosophical point for me with which I am proud to commit myself ".
The full text of Farage's questions for Mark Zuckerberg follows.
Thanks. I was saying that I was the largest user of Facebook in all EU institutions, in terms of followers, in terms of participation, so I am your best client here in the room. I have no idea what the value of that is, but I'm pleased to see you as I hope you are.
The only little problem that I have, I'm watching the testimony on Capitol Hill very carefully, time and again, people ask you: "Is this a neutral political platform?" And you go back to the same line again and again. It's well done. You say: "Facebook is a platform for all ideas".
Historically, of course, it is true that through Facebook and other forms of social networks, there is no way that the Brexit or Trump or the Italian elections could ever have happened. It was social networks that allowed people to fall behind the conventional media.
Now you may be horrified by this creation of yours and what it is aimed at. I do not know. But what is absolutely certain is that since January of this year, you changed your modus operandi, changed your algorithms, and this has led directly to a substantial drop in opinions and commitments for those who have center-right political opinions. The facts are very clear. Just look at President Trump's numbers. On a much smaller scale, look at mine. Look at thousands of other conservative commentators. On average, we are down approximately 25 percent over the course of this year. And you know, that's happening on a platform for all ideas.
I'm not talking here, Mr. Zuckerberg, about extremism. I'm not talking about fomenting violence. I'm not talking about hate towards anyone. I am talking about people who have majority opinions of the majority, and I feel that they are being deliberately discriminated against. What is interesting for me is, who decides what is acceptable? The people referred to above, the third fact verifiers. Who are these people? Why is there no transparency in this process?
Normally I am not someone who asks for legislation [ pause ] on the international stage. But I'm beginning to wonder if we need a bill of rights on social media to protect freedom of expression. Would you accept that today Facebook is not a platform for all ideas that is operated in an impartial manner?