The liberal anger at Facebook is based on the belief that the playing field has tilted in favor of conservatives on the platform, and places the company straight in the crosshairs of presumptive president-elect Joseph R. Biden.
“Donald Trump voter fraud and election victory lies represented 17 of the top 20 posts on FB between 11/3-11/8,” Mr. Russo tweeted. “While Twitter disabled sharing of Trump’s election disinformation, Facebook continued to actively promote the posts in feeds.”
Mr. Russo pointed to several content enforcement decisions by Facebook as not being fast enough and failing to yield the result that Democrats want.
Mr. Russo said Facebook removed a ‘Stop the Steal’ group organized by the pro-Trump nonprofit Women for America First only after the group had swelled to more than 300,000 members.
Mr. Russo also called for Facebook to limit the distribution of articles from the conservative website Breitbart, which he accused of having “multiple misinformation violations,” and expressed frustration that a Trump campaign press briefing involving allegations of voter fraud ran “unmediated” on Facebook. The Biden aide said Facebook added a “woefully ineffective, closable label” to content displaying the press briefing only after it was pressured to do so.
“We knew this would happen. We pleaded with Facebook for over a year to be serious about these problems,” Mr. Russo said on Twitter. “They have not. Our democracy is on the line. We need answers.”
The liberal animosity at Facebook sets up the potential for new regulation from a potential Biden administration that could be aimed squarely at making Facebook acquiesce. Mr. Biden said he is not a fan of Facebook and branded its CEO Mark Zuckerberg a “real problem” in a meeting with the New York TImes’ editorial board in December.
“He knows better. And you know, from my perspective, I’ve been in the view that not only should we be worrying about the concentration of power, we should be worried about the lack of privacy and them being exempt, which you’re not exempt,” Mr. Biden told the Times. “[The Times] can’t write something you know to be false and be exempt from being sued but he can.”
Mr. Biden indicated support for “immediately” revoking Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provides protection for websites from legal liability for content posted by users on their platforms.
While overhauling Section 230 may not be a top priority for a potential Biden administration, Facebook is poised to remain a target for Democrats that are mad about how their political opponents have leveraged the platform online.
Mr. Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week regarding his platform’s handling of 2020 election content.
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