On her Monday show, MSNBC Live host Katy Tur theorized that the future of Facebook as a company is very much up in the air. "The political future of Facebook is once again in question." The latest controversy surrounding the social media company? CEO Mark Zuckerberg dared to talk to conservatives, but didn't yield to Elizabeth Warren's demands.
The source for the segment was a Politico article, co-authored by MSNBC contributor Natasha Bertrand, where it was reported that Zuckerberg met with, "conservative journalists, commentators and at least one Republican lawmaker in recent months to talk about issues like free speech and discuss partnerships."
A Silicon Valley liberal meeting with conservatives to discuss a relevant controversy, how horrible. They can't stand that.
Any good liberal guardian of the "truth," or the news, should not be kowtowing to conservative demands of neutrality. At least that is how MSNBC sees it.
The controversy, both in the Politico source material and for the panel revolves around Facebook's decision not to remove an anti-Biden ad put out by the Trump campaign, that was described in Politico as "making false claims."
Warren, who in Tur's words will manipulate the company's future as one of her "signature plans," posted an admittedly fake ad on Facebook claiming Zuckerberg endorsed Trump, in a move that Tur described as "using fake news to prove a point."
New York Times technology reporter Cecilia Kang agreed, "Well, she's trying to draw attention to the issue, to Facebook's policy which is basically to take a completely hands-off approach when it comes to political content on the site, political ads as well as organic political posts and trying to dare Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook to deal with what is an obvious fake ad."
Before taking the segment into the legal weeds, Tur finally got around to explaining Facebook's point of view, "And Facebook says that they don't bear the responsibility of deciding what's fake and what's not fake, Cecilia, they try to say that the broadcast networks have the same policy."
Even if we grant the premise that the ad in question is full of misinformation, it will hardly be the first political ad to all into that category. What makes this one worse than all the Democratic ones falsely claiming or strongly implying that Republicans hate women? Should Facebook be compelled to ban those too? The only reason why MSNBC thinks Facebook's future "once again in question" is because it didn't bow down before a self-serving politician that MSNBC supports and dared to consider the other side's perspective.
Here is a transcript of the October 14 show:
MSNBC Live with Katy Tur
2:31 PM ET
KATY TUR: The political future of Facebook is once again in question. Politico is reporting that CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been hosting informal talks with prominent conservative journalists, commentators, and at least one Republican lawmaker. This as Elizabeth Warren is using fake news to prove a point. A new Facebook ad from her campaign reads quote, “Breaking news, Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook just endorsed Donald Trump for reelection.” In the same ad Warren tells the viewer of the ad it's not really true. The ad goes on to make a larger argument about Facebook's perceived willingness to provide a platform for deceptive or deceitful political ads. It is the latest shot in an ongoing feud between Elizabeth Warren and Silicon Valley. One of the Massachusetts Senators’ signature plans to a proposal to break up the major tech companies. Joining me New York Times technology reporter Cecilia Kang, and former Undersecretary of State and former Time managing editor Rick Stengel, the author of the new book "Information wars." Cecilia, what exactly is Warren trying to do by posting this fake ad on Facebook?
CECILIA KANG: Well, she's trying to draw attention to the issue, to Facebook's policy which is basically to take a completely hands off approach when it comes to political content on the site, political ads as well as organic political posts and trying to dare Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook to deal with what is an obvious fake ad. It's an ad filled with misinformation. Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook obviously have not endorsed any candidate, and it's really to goad the company into making some sort of a policy change.
TUR: And Facebook says that they don't bear the responsibility of deciding what's fake and what's not fake, Cecilia, they try to say that the broadcast networks have the same policy.