Mark Zuckerberg Meets With Conservatives at Facebook HQ

Damage-control efforts continued in the controversy over conservative content and Facebook's Trending Topics.

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg hosted more than one-dozen conservative leaders at the social network’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Wednesday, in an attempt to quell concerns that conservative content was being suppressed from its Trending Topics.

Trending Topics has been a hot-button topic since a Gizmodo report last week cited anonymous former Facebook employees who claimed that the trending box was manipulated to suppress conservative content and that they were instructed to insert topics into Trending because they came from major news organizations, and not because they were naturally trending.

Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday (embedded below):

This afternoon, I hosted more than one-dozen leading conservatives to talk about how we can make sure Facebook continues to be a platform for all ideas across the political spectrum.

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.

We’ve built Facebook to be a platform for all ideas. 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.

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.

Still, I know many conservatives don’t trust that our platform surfaces content without a political bias. I wanted to hear their concerns personally and have an open conversation about how we can build trust. I want to do everything I can to make sure our teams uphold the integrity of our products.

Thank you to everyone who rearranged their schedules and made sacrifices to be here today. It’s important that Facebook remains a platform for all ideas and that we continue to give every person a voice.

Readers: What do you think of Zuckerberg’s efforts to rectify the situation? David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.