Tuesday morning, President Trump lashed
out at Google, with his remarks later broadening to include
Twitter and Facebook, accusing it of "rigging" search results by
presenting only results "from National Left-Wing Media" and
accused "Google & others are suppressing voices of
Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good."
companies "better be careful because you can’t do that to people,"
Trump said later in the Oval Office. "I think that Google, and
Twitter and Facebook, they are really treading on very, very
troubled territory and they have to be careful. It is not fair to
large portions of the population.”
responded, condemning Trump's charge, and claiming that
"Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don’t bias
our results toward any political ideology."
yet, as so often happens, in Trump's crude delivery, the
politically incorrect truth was once again found.
to a memo posted on Facebook's internal message board titled "We
Have a Problem With Political Diversity", and
published by the New York Times, senior Facebook engineer
Brian Amerige confirmed Trump's allegation writing that "we
are a political monoculture that’s intolerant of different views"
and shockingly admitted that "we
claim to welcome all perspectives, but are quick to attack —
often in mobs — anyone who presents a view that appears to be in
opposition to left-leaning ideology. We
throw labels that end in *obe and *ist at each other, attacking
each other’s character rather than their ideas."
scathing indictment of Facebook's liberal "mono-culture"
do this so consistently that employees are afraid to say
anything when they disagree with what’s around them
politically. HR has told me that
this is not a rare concern, and I’ve personally gotten over a
hundred messages to that effect. Your colleagues are afraid
because they know that they — not their ideas — will be
know that all the talk of “openness to different perspectives”
does not apply to causes of “social justice,” immigration,
“diversity”, and “equality.” On this issues, you can either
keep quiet or sacrifice your reputation and career.
are not fears without cause" Amerige writes, and
continues the stunning disclosure of the company's biased culture,
we tear down posters welcoming Trump supporters. We
regularly propose removing Thiel from our board because he
supported Trump. We’re quick to suggest firing people who turn out
to be misunderstood, and even quicker to conclude our colleagues
are bigots. We have made “All Lives Matter” a fireable offense. We
put Palmer Luckey through a witch hunt because he paid for
anti-Hillary ads. We write each other
ad-hoc feedback in the PSC tool for having “offensive” ideas. We
ask HR to investigate those who dare to criticize Islam’s human
rights record for creating a “non inclusive environment.” And they
called me a transphobe when I called out our corporate art for
being politically radical.
wasn't alone in his criticism of Silicon Valley's liberal bias,
and as the NYT reports, since the post went up, "more
than 100 Facebook employees have joined Mr. Amerige to form an
online group called FB’ers for Political Diversity." The
aim of the initiative, according to Mr. Amerige’s memo, is to
create a space for ideological diversity within the company.
new group has upset other Facebook employees, who said its online
posts were offensive to minorities. One
engineer, who declined to be identified for fear of retaliation,
said several people had lodged complaints with their managers
about FB’ers for Political Diversity and
were told that it had not broken any company rules.
to the NYT, the activity is a rare sign of organized dissent
within Facebook "over
the company’s largely liberal workplace culture." While
the new group is just a sliver of Facebook’s work force of more
than 25,000, the company’s workers have in the past appeared less
inclined than their peers at other tech companies to challenge
leadership, and most have been loyalists to its chief executive,
gets better: within Facebook, employees have argued over the
decisions to ban certain accounts while allowing others. At staff
meetings some workers have repeatedly asked for more guidance on
what content the company disallows, and why.
dispute over employees’ political ideology arose a week before
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, is
scheduled to testify at a Senate hearing about social media
manipulation in elections. A team helping Ms. Sandberg get ready
for the hearing next Wednesday has warned her that some
Republican lawmakers may raise questions about Facebook and
biases, according to two people involved in the preparations.
May, Facebook announced that former Senator Jon Kyl, an Arizona
Republican, would lead an inquiry into allegations of
anticonservative bias on the social network, where new employees
supposedly go through training that describes how to have
respectful conversations about politics and diversity, and yet
fail to achieve any results.
for the outspoken Facebook engineer, Amerige - who started working
at Facebook in 2012 - said on his personal website that he
followed philosophical principles laid out by the philosopher and
writer Ayn Rand. He posted the 527-word memo about political
diversity at Facebook on Aug. 20.
issues like diversity and immigration, he wrote, “you can either
keep quiet or sacrifice your reputation and career.”
proposed that Facebook employees debate their political ideas in
the new group — one of tens of thousands of internal groups that
cover a range of topics — adding that this debate would better
equip the company to host a variety of viewpoints on its platform.
for the prevailing bias withing Facebook, Amerige's conclusion is
simple: "This is not okay. Not just for our internal culture, but
for our own viability as a company."
the problem isn’t unique to us, we are entrusted by a great part
of the world to be impartial and transparent carriers of people’s
stories, ideas, and commentary. Congress doesn’t think we can do
this. The President doesn’t think we can do this. And
like them or not, we deserve that criticism" he
are blind to and dismissive of what people beyond our walls (let
alone even within our walls) think about complex issues that
matter. I’ve been here for nearly 6.5 years and this has gotten
exponentially worse in the last 2."
ever since Trump became president.
full memo is below (pdf