Facebook's audit of alleged anti-conservative bias ongoing, won't commit to releasing final report

Earlier this year embattled tech giant Facebook agreed to review claims that it silences conservative voices, but a question mark remains over when the findings will see the light of day.

The social network agreed in May to conduct a review over accusations of anti-conservative bias, but it has not committed to publicly releasing its final report — something that isn't expected until 2019.

The tech giant, which enlisted the help of Washington, D.C. law firm Covington and Burling with the review, has been hit by prominent Republican lawmakers for censoring conservative content or banning conservatives outright due to ideological reasons. In August, more than 100 Facebook employees complained that the company had a political monoculture and that those who do not have liberal views were attacked by their colleagues.

Garrett Johnson, the co-founder of Lincoln Network, a community of technology professionals, told Fox News that he'd like to see the same level of transparency on this issue that the company provided for its ongoing civil rights audit.

The audit does not appear to have a firm deadline, but Facebook did confirm to Johnson that they would like to release an update this year.


Although Facebook purged over 800 accounts and pages for "inauthentic behavior" prior to the midterm elections, the company has consistently denied that its content decisions are driven by political bias.

After the social network was blasted for how it handled the fallout from a New York Times report, and hit by critics for its use of Definers Public Affairs, a GOP-tied opposition firm, to research financier George Soros, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company would re-evaluate all of its relationships with Washington, D.C. lobbying firms.

"I understand that a lot of D.C.-type firms might do this kind of work,” said Zuckerberg in a November conference call with reporters. “When I learned about it I decided that we don’t want to be doing it."


However, as Johnson and others have noted, it's a standard Beltway strategy to have a commission investigate a problem if your goal is to skirt the issue or avoid making meaningful changes.

According to Lincoln Network's Viewpoint Inclusion Survey last year, which asked nearly 400 tech workers about how they perceive the industry's ideological openness, 90 percent of survey respondents who identified as "very conservative" reported feeling uncomfortable sharing their views or being themselves at work.

Fox News reached out to Facebook for comment on the audit and will update the story as needed.