Why Mark Zuckerberg changed how Facebook chooses what is news

The decentralized and entrepreneurial wild west of America's tech industry ought to be a natural ally of America's liberty movement. Yet the gulf between Silicon Valley and conservatism feels pretty wide these days, especially on the heels of allegations that Facebook slighted conservative news in its "Trending Topics" feature.

Last week, Facebook held a meeting between CEO Mark Zuckerberg, other major company executives, and a handful of conservative media figures to discuss the issue. I was among those present, and though the meeting was deemed "off-the-record," plenty of debate has spilled out into the public in the days since our Menlo Park get-together.

Glenn Beck, posting at Medium, wrote that he was "disturbed" by the conversation in the meeting, lambasting participants for advocating that Facebook increase their understanding of conservatives through either hiring or "diversity training." Taking the other view, Tucker Carlson took aim at Beck's description of the meeting, in particular the "total mischaracterization" of the arguments being made in favor of ideological diversity, noting that if Facebook had had more conservatives in their ranks, problems like this would be less likely to crop up.

Facebook should, of course, be able to operate however they please. But by inviting a room full of conservatives to come together to discuss how Facebook can do better, they wisely and voluntarily chose to bring in fresh perspectives to help them identify any blind spots.

This issue isn't ultimately about conservatism, however. To me, this issue raises a broader discussion about the role of data versus human judgment, and why even well-intentioned people are fallible when trying to fill the gaps where algorithms fall short.

 Read more at Washington Examiner

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