×

Mark Zuckerberg Assures Conservatives That Facebook Wants All Voices

The great media watch on Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters came to an end on Wednesday night as more than a dozen conservative thinkers, pundits, and strategists emerged from their much anticipated meeting with the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg invited the conservative crew to chat with him in California after a recent Gizmodo story alleged that Facebook was suppressing right-leaning headlines in the company’s “Trending News” box.

Conservative radio host Glenn Beck, who arrived by private jet on Wednesday afternoon, posted a Facebook video as he landed.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen out of this, I’m just really anxious to hear what they have to say,” Beck said.

Beck was joined by former Senator Jim DeMint; Donald Trump’s senior policy advisor Barry Bennett, American Enterprise President Arthur Brooks; pundit Mary Katharine Ham Brewer; Targeted Victory co-founder Zac Moffatt; co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, Jenny Beth Martin; columnist Jonathan Garthwaite; Fox News commentator Dana Perino; CNN commentator SE Cupp; correspondent and pundit Tucker Carlson; Republican polster Kristen Soltis Anderson; Heritage Foundation Vice President Rob Bluey; political consultant Alex Skatell; ForAmerica Executive Director David Bozell; Media Research Center director Brent Bozell; and commentator Jennifer Braceras.

Attendees spoke with Zuckerberg and Facebook executives about their experience with the platform, and discussed “Trending Topics.” They were offered a training session how to better use the site to engage their audiences that included a look at Facebook Live and Instant Articles. They also received a demo on the VR headset Oculus and a tour of the company’s headquarters.

After the meeting Zuckerberg put out a statement on Facebook, reiterating that he wanted the site to be a platform for diverse ideas.

“Silicon Valley has a reputation for being liberal. But the Facebook community includes more than 1.6 billion people of every background and ideology — from liberal to conservative and everything in between,” Zuckerberg wrote. “Our community’s success depends on everyone feeling comfortable sharing anything they want. It doesn’t make sense for our mission or our business to suppress political content or prevent anyone from seeing what matters most to them.”

Zuckerberg acknowledged that conservative outlets were important to the company’s past and future success. “The reality is, conservatives and Republicans have always been an important part of Facebook. Donald Trump has more fans on Facebook than any other presidential candidate. And Fox News drives more interactions on its Facebook page than any other news outlet in the world. It’s not even close.”

 

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • T.J. Dillashaw, right, kicks Cody Garbrandt

    Disney Plans UFC Broadcast for FX

    UFC matches will return to FX  – but not on a permanent basis. ESPN has been showing preliminary bouts to UFC pay-per-view events for the last while on ESPN and ESPN2, and then showing the main card on its ESPN+ subscription video service. In September, the early lineup will air on FX, which the UFC [...]

  • fundo logo

    Google‘s Area 120 Is Testing Fundo, a Crowdfunding Service for Creators (EXCLUSIVE)

    Google’s skunkworks lab Area 120 has been quietly testing an events-centric crowdfunding service for YouTubers, Variety has learned. Called Fundo, the service allows creators to invite their fans to virtual meet & greet sessions and other paid online events. A Google spokesperson confirmed the testing in a statement provided to Variety: “One of the many [...]

  • Telling Lies - Logan Marshall-Green

    Sam Barlow's 'Telling Lies' Government-Surveillance Thriller Game Sets Release Date

    After more than two years in the works, “Telling Lies” — the investigative thriller from acclaimed game creator Sam Barlow — is ready to take the stage. The game, produced with and released by Annapurna Interactive, will be available next Friday, Aug. 23, via Steam and Apple’s Mac and iOS app stores. “Telling Lies” will [...]

  • YouTube logo

    YouTube Will Stop Letting Copyright Holders Seize Revenue via Manual Claims on Very Short Music Clips

    YouTube is pushing back against overzealous copyright policing by music companies. Starting in mid-September, the video giant will forbid copyright holders from making manual claims to commandeer revenue generated by YouTube videos that include very short music clips (e.g., five seconds of a song) or “unintentional” music (like music from passing cars). “One concerning trend [...]

  • Chelsea Handler memoir book buy online

    Chelsea Handler Bonds With Alexa in iHeartRadio Smart Speaker Promo

    iHeartRadio has teamed up with Amazon to promote Chelsea Handler’s podcast “Life Will Be The Death Of Me.” Beginning this Thursday, users of Amazon’s Echo smart speaker and other devices with Alexa built-in can opt to get their mornings started with Handler cracking jokes and exchanging banter with the smart assistant. Users simply have to [...]

  • David Messinger, Activision Blizzard

    Activision Blizzard Hires CAA Veteran David Messinger as CMO

    Activision Blizzard tapped David Messinger, a former 15-plus-year veteran of CAA, as its first corporate-wide chief marketing officer. Messinger, based in Santa Monica, reports to Coddy Johnson, Activision Blizzard’s president and COO. It’s the first time the video-game company has appointed a CMO who will oversee the global marketing operations across all of Activision Blizzard [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content