Exhibit A: Facebook characterizes Patricia Heaton’s pro-life message as ‘anti-abortion’
OK, Mr. Zuckerberg, this is exactly the kind of thing we’re talking about:
Actress Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond, The Middle) posted a simple, pro-life message on social media that caught a lot of attention and went viral on Twitter and Facebook. It became so popular that it became the top trending story on Facebook Thursday morning.
Only look how the editors at Facebook characterized the message:
“Patricia Heaton: Actress Shares ANTI-ABORTION Message, Says ‘Support Life'”
Here’s the actual message Heaton shared:
Is there anything in that message that is “anti-abortion”? Absolutely not. She is celebrating and honoring an organization, the Northwest Center, which cares for pregnant women and their children after they are born. Here is the video attached to Heaton’s tweet:
Do you see what we are getting at, Mr. Zuckerberg?
Ms. Heaton is sending a positive and empowering message to pregnant women about the new life they are carrying and about the pre-natal and post-partum options they have if they are confused, scared or believe they may be unable to bring their children to full term.
Why did one of your editors decide to call her message “anti-abortion”?
That is political bias. That is what it looks like. This is what we are talking about.
So, why does this happen? I suspect it happens because the handful of conservatives you hosted at your world headquarters yesterday in Menlo Park, CA could very well have been the largest contingent of conservatives to ever occupy those offices.
If you had hired a few gun-owning, pro-life conservatives to work on your staff, they would have seen this before it went to print and spoken up. But I suspect that person doesn’t sit on your editorial staff.
This is a larger, cultural problem. And if you truly want to fix things, I suggest a one-off meeting with high-profile commentators pundits won’t do the trick.
Who is the pro-life executive on your staff?
Who is the pro-second amendment manager in charge of content?
Name your vice president who advises you on how conservative political topics and issues are presented within your company and to the general public?
Here’s the kicker, Mr. Zuckerberg. Because, I suspect your response might be that you just don’t have many conservatives in your company, but you’re wrong. You see, just like Ms., Heaton’s entertainment industry, there are conservatives working for you right now, you just don’t know about them. You know why?
Because a culture exists at Facebook that makes it nearly impossible for a typical person to freely speak their mind at work. They know they are outnumbered, or, more likely, will be shouted down by the vocal and vociferous minority of left-thinkers who dominate the conversation in the lunch room. And they don’t want the hassle.
Which brings us back to Ms. Heaton. What a courageous and dynamic woman she is. Being pro-life in Hollywood is incredibly difficult. But she risks the backlash and speaks her mind because some things are more important that going along to get along.
Bill O’Reilly once asked her why she speaks out on the life issue considering the blow back she’ll receive from her industry. “As a Christian, it will not be Barbra Streisand I’m standing in front of when I have to make an accounting of my life,” she told him.
But not everyone has that courage.
And, Mr. Zuckerberg, until you proactively change the culture at your company and go out of your way to hire and celebrate conservatives in influential positions at Facebook, it will keep happening.
This is what we are talking about. And it has nothing to do with an algorithm. This was a deliberate act.
Now you know. Ball’s in your court.