Angelo Carusone speaks with TYT's The Conversation about Facebook and Trump

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Citation From a May 6. 2021, video posted to the YouTube channel of TYT's The Conversation

ANGELO CARUSONE (PRESIDENT, MEDIA MATTERS): When people talk about the fact that Trump was somehow giving them money, the reality is last quarter their profits were up. So his presence alone isn't. They found a way to monetize hate without Donald Trump. I mean, so that's been the case.

But he was one of their biggest ad spenders in 2020. I mean, just a ton of money. And part of his ability to stay politically relevant would rely on that constant churn, spending more money on Facebook so that you can get a couple of cents back on the dollar. And it's basically an ever -- it's a massive grift. So that's a piece of it.

I think the other part is that their audience really likes what Trump gives them. I mean, that's reflected in every day, the top 10 posts are consistently from far-right sources and things that sound an awful lot like Donald Trump. So they don't want to alienate their audience.

And the third is if you think about this in a global context, because they're dealing with this exception around a leader is how they're describing it. And that means whatever they do here would set some sort of a precedent for how they would deal with extremists internationally. And the reality is there's a lot of Trump-like figures using the platform all across the board.

But the thing is, no, not a single person on at least publicly official or major account on Facebook has broken the rules as consistently and as frequently as Donald Trump did in 2020.


CARUSONE: The real thing that made them more right-leaning is a guy by the name of Joel Kaplan, who sets all of the policy, all the rules for Facebook, and all of the major moments over the past few years that have ultimately tilted in favor of the right were policies that he said. And Joel Kaplan was George W. Bush's former deputy chief of staff, and he was a participant in the Brooks Brothers riot in the year 2000. That thing that shaped the Republican operation to shut down vote counting during the recount in Florida.