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Facebook meets Glenn Beck and other conservatives this week

Engadget Engadget 15/05/2016 Jon Fingas
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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg talked about meeting leading conservatives to explain the social network's trending topics selection, and it's clear that he's not wasting any time while making that happen. The company has confirmed that Zuck will meet with "about a dozen" conservative figures on May 18th, including outspoken media persona Glenn Beck. It's not clear exactly how things will go down, although Beck maintains that it's partly about assuring the right wing that this furor "won't happen again" -- he's operating on the assumption that Facebook did something wrong, which isn't necessarily true. He hopes that former presidential (and vice presidential) candidate Carly Fiorina will be involved, but Facebook hasn't confirmed this yet.

The meeting may be more important than it seems at first blush. While the primary goal is to dispel the notion that Facebook specifically censors conservative ideas (Beck and others have largely ignored official explanations so far), it could also head off a Senate committee investigation into the company's news filtering practices. Even though it's doubtful that the investigation will lead to legal action -- free speech rights would get in the way -- Facebook likely doesn't want to give the inquiry legitimacy by remaining silent and appearing like it has something to hide.

Recode, Glenn Beck (Facebook)

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