US social media firms are often accused by conservatives of deliberately silencing and censoring non-liberal voices on their platforms.
The Facebook engineer who sparked a major controversy at the company with his criticism of what he called a “political monoculture” that is “intolerant” of conservatism, is leaving the company.
“We claim to welcome all perspectives, but are quick to attack — often in mobs — anyone who presents a view that appears to be in opposition to left-leaning ideology,” Brian Amerige, an engineering manager for product usability wrote in an August 2018 internal memo to his colleagues.
He decried Facebook’s policy of balancing offensive and hateful speech with free expression and its acceptance of government regulation.
“We’ve refused to defend ourselves in the press. Our policy strategy is pragmatism — not clear, implementable long-term principles — and our PR strategy is appeasement — not morally earned pride and self-defense,” Amerige emphasized.
“I disagree too strongly with where we’re heading on these issues to watch what happens next,” he added.
The memo led to the creation of an internal group, on Facebook’s Workplace message board, “FB’ers for Political Diversity,” where hundreds of conservative employees vented their frustration over the company’s practices.
Some Facebook employees are known to have refused to work with or talk to certain colleagues because of their political beliefs.
Democrats and other liberals refute allegations of anti-conservative bias at tech firms using as an example a recent party celebrating conservative Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the US Supreme Court that was hosted by a top Facebook lobbyist.
They also point to the donations made by Google to the conservative group Federalist Society.
Silicon Valley, which is at the heart of America’s high-tech industry, has been accused of liberal bias.
Many Republicans are faulting social media firms for deliberately silencing and censoring non-liberal voices on their platforms, which the companies deny.
In September, President Donald Trump said that algorithms developed by the likes of Google and Facebook fail to offer consumers politically-balanced news about American politics and his presidency.
In July 2017, Google found itself at the center of a political scandal after engineer James Damore wrote an internal post slamming what he described as “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” in which he argued that women are underrepresented in tech not because they face bias and discrimination in the workplace, but because of inherent psychological differences between men and women.
The memo and Damore’s subsequent dismissal in August 2017 were widely discussed in the media.