- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg denied allegations that Facebook censors content from supporters of President Donald Trump and conservatives during a hearing Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

Appearing before the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce committee, the 33-year-old billionaire told lawmakers that Facebook’s goal “is to be a platform for all ideas.”

The proclamation came during his second day of congressional testimony as Mr. Zuckerberg sparred with House majority whip Rep. Steve Scalise, Louisiana Republican, and Rep. Joe Barton, Texas Republican, over political censorship.

When Mr. Scalise questioned whether Facebook’s newsfeed algorithms suppress conservative news in favor of liberal content, Mr. Zuckerberg replied that “there is absolutely no directive” to have “any kind of bias in anything we do.”

“Facebook’s goal is to be a platform for all ideas,” he added.

Mr. Barton questioned the CEO over allegations that Facebook censors Trump supporters such as Diamond and Silk — a sister act from North Carolina famed for their livestreamed video blogging.

SEE ALSO: Mark Zuckerberg apologizes for Facebook abuses

When Mr. Barton pointedly asked Mr. Zuckerberg if he would agree that Facebook needed to assure it was “a neutral public platform” Mr. Zuckerberg agreed that “we should give people a voice.”

During Tuesday’s hearing before the joint Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees, Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, similarly ticked off a number of complaints from conservatives who have had pages or posts blocked, or who have conveyed stories about conservatives receiving lower play on the platform.

Mr. Cruz asked Mr. Zuckerberg if he could think of any page that had been blocked for Planned Parenthood or MoveOn.org, two prominent liberal groups, or for any Democratic candidates.

“I’m not sure,” Mr. Zuckerberg said.

“A great many Americans are deeply concerned Facebook and other tech companies are engaged in a pervasive pattern of bias and political censorship,” Mr. Cruz said.

• Dan Boylan can be reached at dboylan@washingtontimes.com.

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