by Chris White
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Monday that he met recently with conservative pundits recently to get a “wide range of viewpoints” from people ahead of the 2020 election.
Talking to conservatives is part of learning about the kinds of issues that affect people, Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post about a Politico report Monday discussing his meetings with various conservatives. He also provided advice to media pundits who were criticizing his decision.
“There’s some press today discussing dinners I’ve had with conservative politicians, media and thinkers,” he said on Facebook before noting that he talks to people from all over the political spectrum.
He added: “Meeting new people and hearing from a wide range of viewpoints is part of learning. If you haven’t tried it, I suggest you do!”
Zuckerberg was responding to a Politico’s report, which fleshes out the Silicon Valley billionaire’s move to tamp down concerns that Facebook is biased against conservative viewpoints. The report comes after Facebook altered its policies on advertisements ahead of the election.
Reporters argue the company’s decision to exempt President Donald Trump and other politicians from a fact-checkers’ gavel will likely turn social media into caldrons of misinformation. Facebook said the move was done to ensure speech from politicians will be heard and seen.
Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs and communications, said in a September blog post that it will treat speech from politicians “as newsworthy content that should, as a general rule, be seen and heard.” The move raised the hackles of political candidates.
Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign, for one, intentionally ran a fake ad suggesting Zuckerberg supports Trump on Facebook to expose how the social media platform allows politicians to spread misinformation through its ads.
Facebook cited Zuckerberg’s post when the Daily Caller News Foundation reached for comment.
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Chris White is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.