Thune letter to Facebook noted in Wired story detailing turmoil at company

As the sharing on the communication platform Facebook has turned into a love/hate relationship over the stream of clickbait and fake news we tend to see in our news feeds, we’re hearing that the Thune letter to Facebook before the 2016 election over the platform’s liberal bias and suppression of conservative news apparently got their attention:

But the bad press wasn’t what really rattled Facebook—it was the letter from John Thune, a Republican US senator from South Dakota, that followed the story’s publication. Thune chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, which in turn oversees the Federal Trade Commission, an agency that has been especially active in investigating Facebook. The senator wanted Facebook’s answers to the allegations of bias, and he wanted them promptly.

The Thune letter put Facebook on high alert. The company promptly dispatched senior Washington staffers to meet with Thune’s team. Then it sent him a 12-page single-spaced letter explaining that it had conducted a thorough review of Trending Topics and determined that the allegations in the Gizmodo story were largely false.


According to a Facebook employee involved in planning the meeting, part of the goal was to bring in a group of conservatives who were certain to fight with one another. They made sure to have libertarians who wouldn’t want to regulate the platform and partisans who would. Another goal, according to the employee, was to make sure the attendees were “bored to death” by a technical presentation after Zuckerberg and Sandberg had addressed the group.

The power went out, and the room got uncomfortably hot. But otherwise the meeting went according to plan. The guests did indeed fight, and they failed to unify in a way that was either threatening or coherent.

Read the entire story here.

5 Replies to “Thune letter to Facebook noted in Wired story detailing turmoil at company”

    1. enquirer

      so you didn’t actually read the story. facebook and zuckerberg launched a campaign to deceive thune on their obvious politicking, then set up a conservative advisory panel that was engineered to be totally ineffective by design. if you actually go on facebook, you would find obvious differences in the way “normal” people and conservatives accounts operate. the upshot is that the media is culling conservatives out of the culture entirely, it has been going on for quite a while, and it is only now beginning to dawn on the conservatives.

  1. Anonymous

    Thune seems prescient on the issue. Looks like enquirer and Thune agree there was something up at FB, and Zuck panicked.


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