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NRB Calls for Internet Censorship Hearings

The National Religious Broadcasters had big issues with Facebook before CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s mea culpa tour of the House and Senate this week, and it still has them, in spades.

The group called for Hill hearings on internet censorship following the Zuckerberg hearings, signaling nothing the Facebook CEO had said assuaged their concerns. It also said the hearings should include more than just Facebook.

NRB's primary concern is over the perceived bias of Silicon Valley against conservative or religious viewpoints, a concern Zuckerberg told legislators this week was legitimate, though Facebook was meant to be a platform for all ideas, at least nonthreatening ones. He said there was certainly no corporate directive to disfavor conservative or religious speech, but conceded, when examples were cited by Republicans, that ?"mistakes" had been made.

“Why does religious and conservative content seem to fall in the cross-hairs?," said NRB president Jerry Johnson. "Is it algorithmic or human discrimination? What is being done to correct this problem in either case? We need more answers, and we need more hearings with all the big players.”

Zuckerberg said there were examples of mistakes made with liberal content as well, but offered no examples--he was not pressed for them, either, at least in the oral questioning--legislators at both hearings had written questions--lots of them--that Zuckerberg said he and his "team" would answer.

NRB has been tracking what it says are instances of online censorship.

One “mistake” that drew a lot of attention at the hearings was Diamond & Silk, African American Trump supporters who say Facebook was censoring them because of their political speech. Zuckerberg said content reviewers had erred and had reached out to the pair.