Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has invited prominent conservatives to the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California for a meeting on Wednesday to discuss reports that his company’s Trending Topics section reflects deliberate liberal biases.
Radio host Glenn Beck, Fox News’ Dana Perino, Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute, CNN commentator SE Cupp and former Mitt Romney staffer Zac Moffatt are among the conservatives who were invited to discuss the issue.
“I’m going in with an open mind and an eagerness to learn more,” Cupp told CNN. “Conservatives and Silicon Valley actually come down on the same side of many issues and share some common concerns. I’m sure we’ll find plenty to talk about, and I’m honored to have been included.”
The Donald Trump campaign will be represented by Trump’s senior adviser Barry Bennett, according to The Hill.
Last week, The Guardian uncovered internal Facebook files that outline editorial decisions throughout the company’s news operation, including guidelines on how to “inject” and “blacklist” particular stories.
“The guidelines are sure to bolster arguments that Facebook has made discriminatory editorial decisions against right-wing media,” The Guardian’s Sam Thielman wrote.
“I want to have a direct conversation about what Facebook stands for and how we can be sure our platform stays as open as possible,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post last week. “The reason I care so much about this is that it gets to the core of everything Facebook is and everything I want it to be.”
While many users have been led to believe Facebook’s Trending Topics feature is based on an objective algorithm, the documents reveal that a small editing staff is largely responsible for what appears in the now-controversial section of the social network’s newsfeed.
Gizmodo reported on Monday that former Facebook workers claimed colleagues would prevent conservative topics and publications from appearing in the Trending Topics sidebar next to users’ primary news feeds.
The very next day, the Senate Commerce Committee sent a letter to Zuckerberg requesting information regarding accusations that the social media platform purposely keeps conservative news out of its Trending Topics section.