Republican Sen. Josh Hawley claims that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted to him during a meeting Thursday that there “clearly was bias” when it came to Facebook’s labeling of videos posted by pro-life nonprofit Live Action as “false news.”
The 39-year-old Hawley of Missouri met with Zuckerberg in Capitol Hill to discuss a number of issues regarding the social media giant. Afterward, Hawley, a prominent critic big tech, took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the meeting.
“Had a frank conversation,” he tweeted. “Challenged him to do two things to show FB is serious about bias, privacy & competition.”
Hawley said that he urged Zuckerberg to sell WhatsApp and Instagram — social media platforms owned by Facebook. Hawley also said he urged Zuckerberg to submit the company to a third-party audit on censorship. However, Zuckerberg was said to have refused both requests.
In another tweet, Hawley detailed that he and Zuckerberg talked about Facebook’s treatment of Live Action, an organization that stands against abortion and is run by prominent activist Lila Rose.
In August, Facebook marked two Live Action videos in which the claim is made that abortion is “never medically necessary” as “false news” based on a recommendation from a team of fact-checkers. Two members of the fact-checking team used to make this judgment are abortion doctors with ties to abortion-rights advocacy organizations.
As a result, Live Action’s reach on Facebook was reduced.
“Zuckerberg admitted there ‘clearly was bias’ in the @LiveAction @LilaGraceRose censorship,” Hawley wrote. “Said bias is ‘an issue we’ve struggled with for a long time.’”