By Scott Greer
Breitbart writer and internet provacteur Milo Yiannopoulos is challenging Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to a debate over reports the social media giant suppresses conservative news outlets within its trending news feature.
In a video released Friday, Yiannopoulos called upon Zuckerberg to explain why Facebook has an apparent problem censoring material its administrators find politically undesirable.
“Facebook is the worst offender when it comes to censorship, but, unlike Twitter, which is famously opaque and never gives straight answers to questions about free speech, Facebook’s CEO yesterday announced that he would be willing to meet with influential conservatives to discuss their concerns. I hope I’m one of them,” the self-proclaimed cultural libertarian says.
According to Facebook insiders who spoke out on the alleged censorship, Yiannopoulos’ employer Breitbart was one of the outlets specifically singled out for unfavorable treatment from news curators. He believes that there will be dire consequences for the social media platform if it does nothing to correct its censorious reputation.
“Facebook has to do one of two things,” Yiannopoulos stated. “Either rediscover a commitment to First Amendment principles and allow its users to express themselves freely, or be honest with users about Facebook’s biases and let users know that conservatives are going to have a hard time expressing themselves. As a private company, Facebook is entitled to choose either route. But it has to start telling its users the truth.”
The Breitbart Tech editor claims he’s not allowed to mention his year-long “Dangerous Faggot Tour” of campuses around the country without the risk of getting banned from the platform.
“Sometimes the conservative route is longer, harder, less intuitive or less obvious. It doesn’t always give you a nice warm fuzzy feeling right away. But we’re not dangerous. You know what’s dangerous? Suppressing perfectly ordinary and respectable opinions because they don’t match the prejudices of your company’s curation team,” he declares.
Ultimately, Yiannopoulos hopes a debate with Zuckerberg would serve as a wake-up call to the corporation to respect the perimeters of free speech.
“These days, to be punk rock, you have to be a libertarian or conservative. Millennials are waking up to the shortcomings of the BuzzFeed vision of the universe. Let’s see if Facebook is brave enough to get ahead of this trend and stop punishing its users for the opinions they hold and the language they use,” the right-wing writer said.