According to Buzzfeed, the senior engineer and other Facebook employees have been collecting evidence showing that right-wing pages and prominent conservative accounts have been given preferential treatment to help them to remove fact-checks from their content so they can avoid getting “repeat-offender status”. It’s worth noting here that Repeat Offender status, severely limits the poster’s reach and advertising privileges on Facebook.
Publication like Breitbart News are currently one of Facebook’s News partners and freely share fake news content. but, according to the report, Breibart receives preferential treatment, along with a number of other right-wing outlets and figures including ‘Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk’, ‘Trump supporters Diamond and Silk’ and conservative video production nonprofit ‘Prager University’, that helps them to avoid running afoul of Facebook company policy.
Facebook employees have also reported that misinformation strikes against Breitbart had been directly cleared by someone at Facebook, who seemingly acts on the publication’s behalf. One employee commented how “A Breitbart escalation marked ‘urgent: end of day’ was resolved on the same day, with all misinformation strikes against Breitbart’s page and against their domain cleared without explanation,”
Colleagues of the senior engineer who has been sacked for exposing the bias have spoken out in his defense and described him as the “conscience of this company, and a tireless voice for us doing the right thing”.
A journalist who works for one of Facebook’s US fact-checking partners has also revealed that certain right wing pages appear to have a direct line to Facebook. He/she explained how “Instead of appealing to the fact-checker they immediately call their rep at Facebook….They jump straight up and say ‘censorship, First Amendment, freedom’….I think Facebook is a bit afraid of them because of the Trump administration”. Facebook reps have actually contacted fact-checking partners to intervene and there have been instances where misinformation strikes simply disappear without the fact-checker’s knowledge or involvement.