Glenn Beck ripped into fellow conservatives for their approach to the alleged bias against right-leaning stories on the Facebook’s Trending Topics section, calling the Wednesday meeting with leading conservatives and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg “deeply disturbing” but “not for the reasons you might think.”
“There is no evidence of a top-down initiative to silence conservative voices,” TheBlaze founder wrote in a blog entry on Medium, noting that the controversy originated with the allegations of a single, unidentified former employee.
Beck, who was among the 16 conservatives meeting at the social media giant’s headquarters on Wednesday, also took issue with how much the proposals and demands made by his fellow conservatives resembled those of aggrieved liberals.
“It was like affirmative action for conservatives. When did conservatives start demanding quotas AND diversity training AND less people from Ivy League Colleges,” Beck wrote. “I sat there, looking around the room at ‘our side’ wondering, ‘Who are we?’ Who am I?”
Beck said Facebook executives, including Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, “were humble, open, and listened intently” to what the group had to offer. But Beck didn’t love what his peers had to say.
It felt like he “was attending a Rainbow Coalition meeting” with right-leaning activists arriving “with a list of demands.”
“Not a single person in the room shared evidence of any wrongdoing,” he said, and “the overall tenor, to me, felt like the Salem Witch Trial.”
Beck acknowledged that Facebook went to great lengths to ease conservative concerns, even though this whole controversy stemmed from the allegations of one former employee.
“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,” he said. “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.”
He continued: “Sure, the purpose of the meeting yesterday 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.”
Beck ended his Medium piece by agreeing with Facebook execs. “I believe they are acting in good faith and share some very deep, fundamental principles with people who believe in the principles of liberty and freedom of speech,” he concluded.