Sen. Mazie Hirono calls out conservatives for focusing on fake censorship instead of real issues with technology companies

Hirono: “Claims of anti-conservative bias” are “nothing more than a mix of anecdotal evidence ... and a failure to understand the companies' algorithms and content moderation practices”

From the April 10 Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on anti-conservative bias on tech platforms: 

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SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D-HI): There are many areas where the Senate should be conducting oversight of the technology. Baseless allegations of anti-conservative bias is not one of them. We still need a full accounting of the ways that Russia used Facebook and other forms of social media to influence the 2016 election. YouTube is full of misleading and outright false information about vaccines that has put the public at risk. The alt-right continues to use Twitter to organize and spread hate. 

Each of the companies that will be testifying here this morning failed to contain the spread of the video of the mosque shootings in New Zealand, videos that can still be found on these platforms. These are just a few of the real and serious issues we could investigate about the tech industry. Yet here we are, discussing claims of anti-conservative bias that have been disproven time and again. One of our witnesses, professor Francesca Tripodi studies partisanship on social media and finds that conservative perspectives abound on Facebook, Google, and Twitter. She describes claims of anti-conservative bias as nothing more than a mix of anecdotal evidence, which the chairman has acknowledged, and a failure to understand the companies' algorithms and content moderation practices. Professor Tripodi's conclusions are consistent with those of media watchdog Media Matters and others that anti-conservative bias simply does not exist.


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