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Ted Cruz Rails Against Zuckerberg Over Political Bias, Invokes Diamond & Silk’s Facebook Page

Issuing his mea culpa before Congress Tuesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) who accused the company of partisanship and failing to serve as a “neutral public forum.”

Asked to explain whether the site was truly neutral, Zuckerberg noted that it bans hate speech, nudity and terrorist content. However, Cruz insisted it was biased.

“There are a great many Americans who I think are deeply concerned that Facebook and other tech companies are engaged in a pervasive pattern of bias and political censorship,” he said. “There have been numerous instances with Facebook.”

Cruz cited a Gizmodo report from May 2016 that he said showed the social media site “had purposefully and routinely suppressed conservative stories from trending news, including stories about CPAC, including stories about Mitt Romney, including stories about the Lois Learner IRS scandal, including stories about Glenn Beck.”

Cruz added that Facebook had “initially shut down the Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day page,” as well as a post from a Fox News reporter, some Catholic pages, and the page of Diamond and Silk, after determining their content was “unsafe to the community.”

Diamond and Silk, social media vloggers notable for being big fans of President Donald Trump. The duo, whose real names are Lynette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, have risen to fame posting videos celebrating the president and attacking his opponents.

Responding to Cruz’s line of questioning, Zuckerberg said he understood his concern given that Silicon Valley “is an extremely left-leaning place.” However, he emphasized that one of his priorities is ensuring “that we don’t have any bias in the work that we do.”

Zuckerberg is appearing before Congress Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss Facebook’s use of user data and its approach to privacy after the Cambridge Analytica scandal in which the information of 87 million accounts was accessed.

Watch the clip above via C-Span.

[Image via screengrab]

Follow Amy Russo on Twitter: @amymrusso

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