The Week in Tech: Claims of Censorship Come Through Loud and Clear

A group of Facebook workers said the company was unwelcoming to their conservative views and questioned its ability to impartially moderate content.

Each week, technology reporters and columnists from The New York Times review the week’s news, offering analysis and maybe a joke or two about the most important developments in the tech industry. Want this newsletter in your inbox? Sign up here.

Hi, everyone. I’m Kate Conger, a tech reporter, here to tell you about how the tech world got caught up again this week in a debate about censorship and free speech.

On Tuesday, President Trump accused Google of burying conservative news sites in search, and on Wednesday he posted a video that claimed Google had failed to promote his State of the Union address on its home page as it had for President Barack Obama.

Google had, in fact, promoted Mr. Trump’s State of the Union address. And search engine experts said Google’s search algorithm was influenced by keywords that appear on a site and how often that site is linked to by other websites, not political bias.

Still, the president’s accusations echoed throughout the tech industry. My co-worker Sheera Frenkel and I wrote this week about an internal push among Facebook workers who claim that the company is unwelcoming to conservative employees and question its ability to impartially moderate content.

All of the furor comes at an inconvenient time for executives, some of whom are scheduled to testify before Senate and House committees. Election interference and social media influence campaigns will almost certainly come up, but expect plenty of questions about how these companies moderate political speech, too.

Most tech companies strive to be politically neutral — Google, Facebook and Twitter…

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Peter Bordes

Exec Chairman & Founder at oneQube
Exec Chairman & Founder of oneQube the leading audience development automation platfrom. Entrepreneur, top 100 most influential angel investors in social media who loves digital innovation, social media marketing. Adventure travel and fishing junkie.
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