Social Media Reaps What It Sows | Sojourners

Social Media Reaps What It Sows

What we get wrong about social media bias
Conspiracist Alex Jones, now banned from Facebook / Photograph by Reuters

EVERY U.S. PRESIDENT since Richard Nixon has complained about his news coverage. But the man who lives in the White House now is doing something about it.

In August, Politico reported that the Trump administration is drafting an executive order to counter “liberal” bias in story selection and search results on the platforms Facebook, Twitter, and Google (owner of YouTube). According to this report, both the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission may be tasked with enforcing the neutrality of the digital platforms and the algorithms that prioritize stories and topics.

“Social media bias” must work well as a Republican fundraising pitch, because the administration and its allies in Congress have been harping on it for the past year. In September 2018, Twitter chief Jack Dorsey was hauled before the (then-Republican-controlled) House Energy and Commerce Committee and roasted over arcane and unproven claims of his company’s anti-conservative bias. The next day, Jeff Sessions (then still U.S. attorney general) called a meeting of his state-level counterparts to discuss possible actions against the alleged bias.

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