Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez challenged Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over his willingness to associate with conservatives and his views about alleged bias against conservatives on the social media platform.
During Mr. Zuckerberg’s testimony before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday afternoon, the New York congresswoman raised the perception of some critics that the Facebook founder is cozy with right-leaning political figures. Since July, Mr. Zuckerberg has reportedly courted conservatives in private, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, and conservative commentator Ben Shapiro.
“In your ongoing dinner parties with far-right figures, some of who advance the conspiracy theory that white supremacy is a hoax, did you discuss so-called social media bias against conservatives and do you believe there is a bias?” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez asked.
“Uh, congresswoman, um, sorry, I don’t remember everything that was in the sentence, in the question that you asked,” Mr. Zuckerberg answered.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez followed up by asking why Mr. Zuckerberg would allow the conservative outlet The Daily Caller to function as a fact-checker for Facebook, which Ms. Ocasio-Cortez labeled “a publication well-documented with ties to white supremacists.”
“We actually don’t appoint the independent fact-checkers, they go through an independent organization, called the Independent Fact-Checking Network that has a rigorous standard for who they allow to serve as a fact-checker,” Mr. Zuckerberg said.
As time allotted for her questioning expired, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez continued to press Mr. Zuckerberg for why he would allow “white-supremacist-tied publications” to meet Facebook’s standards for fact-checking. Mr. Zuckerberg responded by again pointing to the Independent Fact-Checking Network, a project of Poynter, as the one making the determination.