After meeting with a group of conservatives Wednesday to address accusations that Facebook’s news delivery system has a liberal bias, Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg issued a statement that stopped short of saying what — if anything — he would do to allay the concerns.

“Silicon Valley has a reputation for being liberal,” Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook profile following the meeting. “But the Facebook community includes more than 1.6 billion people of every background and ideology — from liberal to conservative and everything in between.”

As it becomes a more important source for news, Facebook has increasingly drawn scrutiny for how it presents news items on users’ profile pages. In 2014 the company tweaked its content algorithm to selectively deliver news items to 700,000 users to test which items elicited more or fewer positive remarks, which are considered more shareable and therefore better for the company’s ad-based revenue.

Today, digital media organizations are scrambling to participate in the Facebook Live video feed under the assumption that using Facebook’s live video platform means they’ll be rewarded with greater visibility on the site.

“Conservatives and Republicans have alsways been an important part of Facebook,” Zuckerberg posted. “It doesn't make sense for our mission or our business to suppress political content or prevent anyone from seeing what matters most to them.”

 

Zuckerberg acknowledged that many conservatives don’t trust how Facebook “surfaces” (aka posts) content on users’ profiles and pledged to “uphold the integrity of our products.”

The 32-year-old Harvard dropout pointed out that Republican presidential contender Donald Trump has more fans on the social media network than any other candidate and that Fox News has more interactions with other Facebook users than any other media outlet.

Zuckerberg met with a group of high-profile conservatives, including former White House press secretary and political pundit Dana Perino; American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks; Barry Bennett, a Trump senior adviser; and television personality Glenn Beck.

As it becomes a more important source for news, Facebook has increasingly drawn scrutiny for how it presents news items on users’ profile pages. In 2014 the company tweaked its content algorithm to selectively deliver news items to 700,000 users to test which items elicited more or fewer positive remarks, which are considered more shareable and therefore better for the company’s ad-based revenue.

Today, digital media organizations are scrambling to participate in the Facebook Live video feed under the assumption that using Facebook’s live video platform means they’ll be rewarded with greater visibility on the site.

Wednesday’s meeting came after tech blog Gizmodo reported last week that Facebook used self-employed contractors who hand-picked news items to display on users’ “Trending Topics” box on the upper-right corner. Contrary to a general belief these topics are selected based on politically impartial algorithms, these former Facebook contract workers claimed they suppressed conservative news topics.