Over the past several months, conservative groups— including associates of President Trump— were often not penalized by Facebook for violating its rules because people at the company worried about the perception of anti-conservative bias, The Washington Post reported.
The Post examined posts and ad spending along with internal Facebook documents. It found accounts that included Donald Trump Jr. and a pro-Trump super PAC were shielded from the platform’s most serious enforcement actions. For instance, according to the Post, Facebook removed a strike against Trump Jr. on Instagram — which is owned by Facebook— that would have led to him being labeled a “repeat offender” and could have meant a permanent ban under platform rules.
Facebook did not immediately reply to a request for comment from The Verge on Sunday.
Conservatives have repeatedly complained about what they see as anti-conservative bias on social media, including Facebook. The president has railed against what he sees as “total command & control of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google,” by the “Radical Left,” and last May, the White House launched a now-inactive tool for Americans to “share their stories of suspected political bias” with the president.
But there’s been little evidence that such bias exists. In fact, The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Facebook had designed changes to its news feed algorithm in 2017 to reduce the visibility of left-leaning news sites like Mother Jones on its platform. According to the Journal, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg endorsed the plan.