Facebook’s Internal Chat Boards Show Politics Often at Center of Decision Making | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Facebook’s Internal Chat Boards Show Politics Often at Center of Decision Making

In June 2020, when America was rocked by protests over the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, a Facebook employee posted a message on the company’s racial-justice chat board: “Get Breitbart out of News Tab.”

News Tab is a feature that aggregates and promotes articles from various publishers, chosen by Facebook. The employee’s message included screenshots of headlines on Breitbart’s website, such as “Minneapolis Mayhem: Riots in Masks,” “Massive Looting, Buildings in Flames, Bonfires!” and “BLM Protesters Pummel Police Cars on 101.”

The employee said they were “emblematic of a concerted effort at Breitbart and similarly hyperpartisan sources (none of which belong in News Tab) to paint Black Americans and Black-led movements in a very negative way,” according to written conversations on Facebook’s office communication system reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Many other employees chimed in to agree.

In the same chat, a company researcher said any steps aimed at removing Breitbart—a right-wing publisher popular with supporters of former President Donald Trump —could face roadblocks internally because of the potential political blowback. “At best, it would be a very difficult policy discussion,” the researcher said.

Comments

SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA