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Mark Zuckerberg Meets With Leading Conservatives — Here’s What Is Being Said After the Gathering


Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with more than a dozen leading conservatives Wednesday for a dialogue about how to "make sure Facebook continues to be a platform for all ideas across the political spectrum."

"I know many conservatives don't trust that our platform surfaces content without a political bias," Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook note shortly after the meeting concluded. "I wanted to hear their concerns personally and have an open conversation about how we can build trust. I want to do everything I can to make sure our teams uphold the integrity of our products."

The meeting came after a Gizmodo report cited a source who said Facebook curators would regularly suppress conservative news in the Trending Topics sidebar.

Zuckerberg denied the allegations last week and said he would invite prominent conservative voices to Facebook's Menlo Park, California, campus to open up a dialogue.

Among the attendees Wednesday were TheBlaze founder Glenn Beck; Donald Trump advisor Barry Bennett; Heritage Foundation President and former Senator Jim DeMint; Fox News host Dana Perino; Independent Journal Review founder Alex Skatell; columnists Mary Katherine Ham and S.E. Cupp; and Media Research President Brent Bozell.

Following the roughly 90-minute meeting, Cupp tweeted that it was "very productive."

Perino agreed, telling TheBlaze the meeting was "overall positive."

"They realize they are losing or have lost trust of conservatives," she said. "They seemed genuine in their desire to correct that."

Bozell echoed the sentiment and said in a statement that he thinks "Facebook understands there is a problem" and has a "genuine desire to resolve it."

"There were good exchanges and overall it was cordial," he said. "We’ll see how the investigation turns out. There has been a serious issue of trust within the conservative movement about this issue, but everyone in that room, on both sides, wants to see it restored."

Some on the right, however, expressed significant skepticism about the meeting.

Right-wing website Breitbart posted a banner headline on its home page, reading "Cucked by Zuck: Establishment Conservatives Rock Up for Pointless Meeting With Facebook."

"Today’s meeting won’t fix censorship, and it won’t fix the suppression of conservative media," provocative conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos wrote. "I have my doubts as to whether the establishment conservatives in attendance have the backbone or competence to raise these points and demand any kind of substantial solution."

The Federalist's Sean Davis called the meeting a "con job" earlier this week and contended Facebook invited each person to play a "very specific role" in its public relations game.

This story has been updated with additional info.

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