Rep. McCarthy: Don't Blame Algorithms for Social Media Censorship

Susan Jones | August 31, 2018 | 6:40am EDT
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Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is House Majority Leader. (Photo: Screen capture)

( - House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), appearing on Fox News Thursday night, said he doesn't buy the explanation that social media platforms rely on "algorithms" to sort their content.

"Social media today is the modern-day town hall," McCarthy told Laura Ingraham:

Sixty-seven percent of adults get their news from somewhere on social media. But let's just play that out. You see Prager University that puts out conservative videos. But one happened to be about Israel with Alan Dershowitz. One happened to be about baseball with George Will. Well, you know what? Facebook wouldn't show those because they said YouTube rated them similar to pornography.


Then we found out recently that they said, oh no, it was a couple of Facebook employees. tTake For instance, I follow your tweets. You put something out about Sweden last week in regards to conservatives gaining based upon their immigration policy. Well that algorithm, written by a human, said that was sensitive, so certain people on Twitter could not see that... So that's just an algorithm?

But if you Google the California Republican party right before the primary, they said our ideology was Nazism, and they blame that on Wikipedia. But after we have raised this issue -- and I've had many conversations with the president about it, that we have to stop this bias, look what happened in Facebook just this week. Their own employees, those conservatives who have been intimidated based upon their own personal philosophy put a group together and rose up because they feel that's been going on as well.

McCarthy said Congress will take up the issue of "how powerful" the social media giants have become.

"Now I have spoken to Jack Dorsey throughout the month, because the beginning of August, I sent a letter requesting for him to come to (the) Energy and Commerce (Committee). And I want to give him the credit, he is showing up September 5th. And he and I philosophically disagree but we do agree on one thing. We agree on the First Amendment. But we also believe in transparency and accountability.

“He's coming forward. I think the other company CEOs need to come forward as well. Because the stories that they are telling and blaming other people, that it's just an algorithm, is proving not to be true.”

Ingraham noted that some politicians are looking at anti-trust law as a remedy or even regulating social media companies the same way utilities are regulated.

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