Parler CEO John Matze had some harsh criticism for Facebook after it was revealed that they employed a secret algorithm to boost left-leaning media outlets on its platform. It seems like yet another issue that will motivate conservatives to migrate over to alternative social media organizations like Matze’s company.
During an appearance on “Fox & Friends,” Matze reacted to a reported published by The New York Times outlining Facebook’s conduct in the aftermath of the presidential election. The report alleged that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg decided to change the platform’s algorithm after Nov 3 to push corporate media outlets like CNN to the forefront. The change “resulted in a spike in visibility” for “big, mainstream publishers.”
The algorithmic change caused “posts from highly engaged hyperpartisan pages, such as Breitbart and Occupy Democrats” to become “less visible” in user’s news feeds.
Matze castigated Facebook for refusing to allow users to determine what news they would like to see.
“Parler believes that people should make the determination for themselves what they think is hyperpartisan or they believe in and what they’d like to follow and they can choose on their own on Parler what they’d like to get engaged with,” Matze argued.
He added, “So for me, this kind of Facebook secret internal algorithm thing is kind of Orwellian.”
Matze pointed out that Parler believes “in having a simple chronological algorithm that allows people to filter out and determine what they want to view and I think that’s the best way.”
The Parler CEO also asserted that users should be allowed to choose what they want to see in their newsfeeds.
“I don’t think any of us likes hyperpartisan content,” he insisted. “And so when people can decide on their own what they believe is within the norms of society and what they want to talk about, we should let them choose on their own.”
When host Brian Kilmeade asked Matze how Parler operates a social media site that “doesn’t care” about political viewpoints.
“We do that by standing by our values and not getting involved and not ranking media outlets based of off some kind of internal perception,” Matze answered.
“We don’t pretend to be experts about the news or pretend to be experts about fact-checking,” he continued. “We just offer people a platform and let everybody else decide what they want and what they want to engage with and I think that’s the right way to do it.”
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that after Election Day, Facebook quickly changed its algorithm to prioritize establishment left-leaning news outlets over others.
From the Times:
“In response, the employees proposed an emergency change to the site’s news feed algorithm, which helps determine what more than two billion people see every day. It involved emphasizing the importance of what Facebook calls ‘news ecosystem quality’ scores, or N.E.Q., a secret internal ranking it assigns to news publishers based on signals about the quality of their journalism.”
The author explained that N.E.Q. scores play only “a minor role” in deciding what content shows up on users’ feeds. But after the election, Zuckerberg chose to “increase the weight that Facebook’s algorithm gave to N.E.Q. scores to make sure authoritative news appeared more prominently.”
What’s more dangerous about Facebook’s decision is that many of its employees are pushing for the change to become permanent, according to the Times. “In an employee meeting the week after the election, workers asked whether the ‘nicer news feed’ could stay, said two people who attended,” the author wrote.
While the company claims that it will not make these changes permanent, one can easily see the slippery slope here. If employees are already seeing how the algorithm benefits their progressive agenda, they will almost certainly push Facebook’s leadership to keep it in place. If their preferred media outlets remain front and center, it will be easier prevent more Americans from being exposed to conservative opinions.
When one considers the ramifications of Facebook’s algorithmic change, it is easy to see why Matze would see this trend as “Orwellian.” But this is exactly where the progressive left is moving towards, isn’t it?
Let me know what you think in the comments below!