As Jon Kyl fills John McCain's senate vacancy, Facebook needs to act

Kyl’s appointment to the Senate should have been an opportunity for Facebook to scrap the conservative bias review and stop caving to the right

Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

Former U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl has been announced to fill the vacancy left by the late Arizona Sen. John McCain.

It’s the third gig Kyl has gotten in Republican politics this year. In July, the White House tapped Kyl to act as the “sherpa” for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearing.

Earlier, Facebook also hired Kyl and his law firm, Covington and Burling, to lead the social media company’s conservative bias review -- to look for supposed bias that has since been debunked against right-wing figures and content on social media platforms. There haven’t been any updates on the review since it was announced early May and it’s unclear how Kyl’s newest job as a senator will affect the conservative bias review or his continued role in it.

The Hill reports that Facebook will continue with the conservative bias review. No word on who will take over the review now that Kyl's new job will likely leave him unable to head the project.

Kyl’s appointment gives Facebook an opportunity to reevaluate its strategy of engaging with the right on claims that have no basis in fact. Facebook should scrap the conservative bias review entirely and stop helping the Republicans rally their base at the expense of Facebook’s own integrity. Sadly it's an opportunity Facebook has chosen not to take.

Media Matters has reached out to Facebook for a comment and will update if they respond.