Publisher's Note: One of the most significant things you can do to promote Liberty is to support our mission. Please make your gift to the 2023 Year-End Campaign today. Thank you! —Mark Alexander, Publisher

August 21, 2019

Is Facebook’s Audit Merely Window Dressing?

The social-media giant is making changes to address conservative complaints of bias.

Former GOP Sen. Jon Kyl was tapped by Facebook to conduct a Robert Mueller-like investigation into accusations of the company’s bias against conservatives. Kyl publicly released his findings Tuesday. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed he wrote:

Facebook placed no restrictions on how I could conduct the work. My team at the law firm Covington & Burling LLP began conducting interviews in May 2018. We cast a wide net to include as many aspects of conservatism as possible — from organizations focused on Christian values or protecting free expression to those focused on tax policy and small government. We identified individuals, groups and lawmakers who either use, study or could potentially regulate Facebook, and interviewed 133 of them. To encourage them to speak freely, we told interviewees we wouldn’t publish their identities. We presented our preliminary findings to Facebook in early August 2018 and have been discussing them with the company ever since.

A year later, we now know that Kyl “found conservatives’ concerns generally fall within the following six buckets: Content distribution and algorithms. … Content policies. … Content enforcement. … Ad policies. … Ad enforcement. … Workforce viewpoint diversity.” We’ve addressed many of those concerns in the past, and we won’t rehash it all here, but the short of it is that Facebook certainly seems to discriminate against conservative viewpoints in each of those “buckets.”

But Kyl says, “Facebook has made several changes that are responsive to our findings, and we understand more are being considered.” Those changes include things like an oversight board for content-removal appeals, explanations and transparency for algorithms, four more staff to deal with complaints, and ad-policy changes that would effectively allow for more pro-life content.

We’d generally conclude two things. First, Kyl obviously wants to show that he was “effective,” so winning some concessions from Facebook is a feather in his hat. Second, Facebook has a vested interest in the appearance of fairness. Axios, which first reported the findings, sums up the leftist view of the optics: “While there has been little evidence that Facebook is knowingly biased against conservatives, the release of the audit, and further continuation of it, shows that company takes the allegations seriously.” Not that it matters to conservatives, Axios gripes: “Accusations of political bias against Facebook and Big Tech have become a political weapon wielded by conservatives. It’s doubtful an audit will stop that effort.”

Pardon us, but conservatives didn’t make this a political weapon. Facebook did by its proven biased standards, Axios’s cavalier dismissal of “little evidence” notwithstanding. And we have little reason to believe that Facebook’s response to a chummy audit — even by a Republican for the smoke-and-mirrors purpose of “objectivity” — is anything but window dressing. In that sense, Axios is right and, as Kyl put it, “Conservatives no doubt will, and should, continue to press Facebook to address the concerns that arose in our survey.”

Remember, Facebook claims to be a platform for users to express opinions freely, but it behaves like a publisher in choosing what content is acceptable. Having it both ways is not conducive to free speech.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2023 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.