According to the New York Times, Facebook's policy team discouraged the investigation of hyperpartisan networks based in the US.
- Facebook reportedly failed to investigate misinformation from right-wing news site The Daily Wire over concerns it could set off a Republican backlash.
- According to the New York Times, Facebook's security and policy teams clashed over whether or not to investigate the site, after it was found to have used tactics associated with disinformation networks.
- Facebook's policy team is said to have discouraged the idea, worried that investigating a major right-wing network could prompt a Republican backlash.
- The social media giant's head of cybersecurity, Nathaniel Gleicher, told the NYT he did not recall tensions over The Daily Wire.
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Facebook reportedly failed to investigate misinformation from right-wing US news site the Daily Wire over concerns it could set off a Republican backlash.
According to a New York Times article published Sunday, Facebook's security and policy teams clashed over whether or not to investigate the site.
The Daily Wire was founded by conservative pundit Ben Shapiro, and has come under fire for its attitudes towards climate science and for its incendiary reporting. Per the Popular Info newsletter, it is nonetheless hugely popular on Facebook, outranking the New York Times and the Washington Post on engagement.
According to the Times, Facebook's security team found evidence The Daily Wire was at the center of coordinated messages and posts without disclosing its involvement. This is a tactic commonly associated with disinformation networks.
While some members of Facebook's security team wanted greater scope to investigate such partisan US networks, Facebook's policy team is said to have discouraged an investigation of The Daily Wire on the grounds it could irk conservatives.
Facebook has indeed sought to mollify conservatives convinced that the major US giants, often run by apparently liberal-leaning CEOs and execs, show bias to right-wing viewpoints and publications. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly hosted The Daily Wire's founder, Ben Shapiro, and other conservative pundits at private dinners.
Facebook has downplayed any tension.
Its head of cybersecurity, Nathaniel Gleicher, told the New York Times he did not recall tensions over The Daily Wire, adding that the investigation found the site did not meet the threshold for enforcement.
Business Insider has approached Facebook and The Daily Wire for comment.