Published On: Wed, May 18th, 2016

Mark Zuckerberg To Meet US Conservatives Over Trending Row

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg will extend an olive branch to several high profile conservative figures in US politics on Wednesday.

Mark Zuckerberg

The site has been accused of tampering with its Trending Topics feature, promoting “progressive” views and websites over content presenting views from the American right.

Mr Zuckerberg has denied the reports – which first appeared on tech news site Gizmodo – were accurate, though the site did concede that the feature was controlled by human editors rather than a popularity algorithm.

Facebook confirmed a guest list of six people for the meeting. It is understood that several others declined Mr Zuckerberg’s offer.

Matthew Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, wrote in a statement: “We will not be attending this meeting. We know one meeting cannot possibly resolve all of the above mentioned issues.”

However, Facebook confirmed to the Daily Released that those travelling to Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California, included:

  • Conservative commentator and radio host Glenn Beck
  • Fox New presenter Dana Perino
  • Zac Moffatt, co-founder of Targeted Victory, a technology platform specialising in publicising political campaigns
  • Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute
  • Jim DeMint, president of the Heritage Foundation
  • Senior Donald Trump advisor Barry Bennett

Other reports suggested a longer list of attendees but these have not been confirmed by the social network.

Mr Beck, writing on his Facebook page, said he was hopeful about the meeting.

” It would be interesting to look him in the eye as he explains and a win for all voices if we can come to a place of real trust with this powerful tool.

“While they are a private business and I support their right to run it any way they desire without government interference, it would be wonderful if a tool like Facebook independently chose to hold up freedom of speech and freedom of association as a corporate principle.”