Head of Instagram on Bias at Facebook: ‘We’re Not Neutral’

January 14, 2021 Updated: January 14, 2021

Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri said Monday that Facebook staff do have a bias in reply to a Twitter post about the company’s policies.

“We’re not neutral,” Mosseri said of Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram. He further said, “No platform is neutral, we all have values and those values influence the decisions we make.”

“We try and be apolitical,” he added, “but that’s increasingly difficult, particularly in the U.S. where people are more and more polarized.”

Mosseri’s profile says that he was the former head of the Facebook News Feed and a designer.

President Donald Trump’s Facebook page was suspended last week following his public remarks at a rally before groups of people breached the U.S. Capitol building during the Joint Session of Congress. The move was lambasted by conservative critics and Trump himself, arguing the move was tantamount to censorship.

And Facebook this week announced that it would delete content and groups related to the “Stop the Steal” movement. Mosseri made note of that.

“Our enforcement is far from perfect, but worth calling out that what we announced today is a new policy to remove any posts, groups, accounts, and events that use the phrase ‘Stop the Steal,’ unless they are condemning it. That allows us to go much further than we have to date,” Mosseri said.

The Silicon Valley-based tech giant has no plans to lift the immediate ban on Trump’s account.

“In this moment, the risk to our democracy was too big that we felt we had to take the unprecedented step of what is an indefinite ban,” Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg said in an interview with Reuters. “And I’m glad we did.”

But Trump told reporters that he believed his comments on Jan. 6 were appropriate.

“People thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” Trump told reporters earlier this week in response to the Big Tech backlash. “We want no violence … absolutely no violence,” he added.

“I look at what other people have said, politicians at a high level, about the riots in the summer, the horrible riots in Portland and Seattle and various other places, that was the real problem,” Trump remarked.

Those Big Tech companies are “doing a horrible thing to our country,” he said, adding that “I believe it’s going to be a catastrophic mistake for them.”

It wasn’t just Facebook that suspended Trump’s account. Twitter and several other tech companies suspended their services with Trump and GOP officials, making the same claim that they incited violence and violated the firms’ terms of service.

The perceived censorship drew backlash from civil liberties groups and legal experts.

Kate Ruane, a senior legislative counsel at the ACLU, said in a statement that Twitter’s decision to suspend Trump from social media sets a precedent for tech companies to silence all viewpoints, not just Trump’s.

The Epoch Times has reached out to Facebook for comment.