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Far right congressman Steve King demands Facebook explain why far right conspiracy theory website is losing traffic

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U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is going after Facebook to defend sites that promote the right wing conspiracy theories and fake news he likes to read.

Speaking Tuesday during the House Judiciary Committee’s, “Facebook, Google and Twitter: Examining the Content Filtering Practices of Social Media Giants,” Rep. King demanded to know why a right wing site is losing traffic. King specifically mentioned a pro-Trump conspiracy theory and “fake news” website known as Gateway Pundit, run by Jim Hoft, a man whose name has become synonymous with “the stupidest man on the Internet,” according to a Google search.

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In the House hearing, King challenged Facebook’s head of global policy management, Monika Bickert, to explain why Gateway Pundit supposedly “saw its traffic cut by 54%.” Facebook, contrary to King’s assumptions, does not guarantee traffic to any website.

Congressman King also suggested Facebook uses the Southern Poverty Law Center as an ethics “advisory group” to determine how much traffic a Facebook page or website would receive.

King, again under the false assumption that Facebook is specifically targeting conservative websites to deliver less traffic for them, threatened to support those who want to turn Facebook into a public utility. That’s all but impossible under U.S. law.

“Steve King,” ShareBlue’s Tommy Christopher noted, “suddenly favors big government when it might help fringe right-wingers like Gateway Pundit.”

Christopher adds that “King also mentioned Trump backers ‘Diamond and Silk,’ who lied to Congress by claiming that a Facebook algorithm cut their traffic when an independent analysis showed the opposite.”

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King is perhaps best known for falsely claiming in 2014 that for every undocumented immigrant in America who is, for example, a “valedictorian,” there are 100 who are running drugs across the Mexican border — and they have “calves the size of cantaloupes.”

 

 

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In a secluded region in Russia’s Arctic they are rejecting Putin in rare protest

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Lyudmila Laptander, an activist advocating autonomy for her mineral-rich Nenets region in the Russian Arctic, worries authorities are planning to sacrifice its traditions for the promise of economic enrichment.

"If Nenets is merged with another region, I worry that no one will look after our language or our traditions, and that our small villages in the tundra will be forgotten," said Laptander, 61, a member of the Yasavey cultural group.

The autonomous region on the edge of the Arctic Ocean was gripped by protests in May against the government's plans to integrate it with neighbouring Arkhangelsk.

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People are paying to hire this donkey to crash their Zoom meetings

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The coronavirus pandemic has led millions of people to embrace meetings via Zoom, but admittedly, those can be as tedious as in-person conferences.

So one animal sanctuary in Canada, in dire need of cash after being forced to close to visitors, found a way to solve both problems.

Meet Buckwheat, a donkey at the Farmhouse Garden Animal Home, who is ready to inject some fun into your humdrum work-from-home office day -- for a price.

"Hello. We are crashing your meeting, we are crashing your meeting -- this is Buckwheat," says sanctuary volunteer Tim Fors, introducing the gray and white animal on a Zoom call.

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Republican senators are suddenly trying to social distance — from Trump

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There’s something interesting in today’s news:

A number of Republican Senators have said they are skipping the Republican National Convention this year. The convention was originally scheduled in Charlotte, North Carolina, but at Trump’s insistence was relocated to Jacksonville, Florida, last month. The stated reason was that Democratic North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper would not commit to permitting a full convention out of concerns about the spread of coronavirus, but the abrupt switch to Florida, less than 80 days before the convention, still seems odd to me. Regardless, the switch has created a new problem: Florida is in the midst of a dramatic spike in coronavirus cases, setting a record for new cases in a single day during the weekend —11,458—and running low of ICU beds.

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