Iowa Senator Joni Ernst is questioning whether Facebook and Twitter employees are politically hostile to conservatives.
Ernst was among the Republicans on a Senate Committee who complained yesterday that conservatives were being censored on the social media platforms in the run up to the 2020 Election.
“The people that I hear from, of course, believe that conservatives were wrongfully being silenced, while those on the left that were given basically free reign on your platforms,” Ernst said. “…You do recruit heavily from California, which leans to your employee based skewing quite heavily to the left.”
Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Jack Dorsey of Twitter testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee for hours yesterday. Ernst asked if they had taken steps to make their employee base more politically balanced.
“This is a sensitive area where I don’t think it would be appropriate for us to ask people on the way in what they’re political affiliation is,” Zuckerberg replied.
Zuckerberg said as more people are able to work remotely, from anywhere, the company’s employee roster will diversity into other regions. He also told Ernst Facebook has turned to independent fact-checkers to assess what “misinformation” may be posted on the platform.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said the company has a framework for dealing with complaints about political bias. He, like Zuckerberg, said the company is at a point where it can decentralize its employee base.
Democrats on the committee rejected complaints of bias from Ernst and other Republicans, countering that nearly every day the most engaged pages on Facebook offer what they termed “far right content.”