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Popular pro-Trump sisters Diamond and Silk Wednesday night claimed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg lied when he told Congress his team had gotten in touch with them to correct an “enforcement error.”
During hearings on Capitol Hill Tuesday and Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) grilled Zuckerberg over reports that Facebook had deplatformed the outspoken duo for being “unsafe for the community.”
When Blackburn asked him if Facebook was manipulating algorithms to prioritize or censor speech, Zuckerberg answered that there are types of speech — like terrorism — that Facebook is “very proud” to have removed from its site.
“Let me tell you something right now,” Blackburn interjected. “Diamond and Silk is not terrorism!”
Later on, Rep. Barton read Zuckerberg a letter from a constituent voicing concern over Facebook’s treatment of the conservative women and asked the tech giant for his response.
“Congressman, in that specific case, our team made an enforcement error and we have already gotten in touch with them to reverse it,” he testified.
Diamond and Silk, whose real names are are Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, appeared on Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle for the second day in a row to discuss Zuckerberg’s testimony to lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
The women vehemently denied that anyone from Facebook had gotten in touch with them.
“No!” the sisters replied in unison, when Ingraham asked. “We have not been in communication with Facebook. We have not been contacted. We have not spoken with anyone over the phone, so that was a lie,” Diamond added.
Ingraham pointed out that Zuckerberg’s testimony Wednesday marked the second time in two days he had claimed the problem had been dealt with.
“If you go to the site of our Facebook page right now, you will see where people are still having issues with liking and following our page,” Silk insisted. “Nothing has been resolved and no one has been in communication with Diamond and Silk.”
Diamond said they were happy Zuckerberg admitted that Facebook had made a mistake by deplatforming them, but added that they still want to talk directly with him so he can “rectify” the situation and “make this right.”
Diamond and Silk say Facebook has contacted them through Twitter:
UPDATE: Facebook has finally reached out to us through Twitter, we will keep you posted!
A spokesman for Facebook admitted to PJ Media that the social media giant had “mishandled communication with Diamond and Silk for months” and said they “understand how frustrated they may be” and are “very sorry.”
He said that “the note they were sent last week was incorrect and not reflective of the way we seek to communicate with our community and the people who run Pages on our platform.”
The spokesman also told PJ Media that Facebook reached out to Diamond and Silk through both email and comments on their Facebook page on Monday and Tuesday of this week and provided a screenshot of one of the comments.
Here is what the spokesman said happened:
In September 2017, we updated policies around how Pages like Diamond and Silk could monetize their content – we did not properly communicate these policies to them.
As a result, they could not have known that they may face new guidelines around what content they could monetize.
When they reached out to us to learn more about these policies, the team they spoke to did not bring in the team with the most knowledge of this situation.
Separate from this issue, we know that many Page admins have questions around the distribution of their content in News Feed given the updates we’ve made in News Feed to help people meaningfully connect with friends and family – these changes include:
We’ve made recent changes to News Feed that affect the reach of public Pages. As News Feed shifts to prioritize posts from friends, public Pages of all types are more likely to experience declines.
Further, we have had a policy in place since 2016 to reduce stories from sources that consistently post clickbait headlines. We’ve posted publishing best practices to which Page owners can refer to avoid issues like this.
“Facebook is a platform for political voices from across the spectrum and we have vibrant and growing conservative communities and many conservative political leaders and commentators thrive on Facebook,” the spokesman said.
He quoted Zuckerberg’s words from the hearing yesterday:
“I’m very committed to making sure that Facebook is a platform for all ideas. That’s a very important founding principle of what we do. We’re proud of the discourse and the different ideas that people can share on the service, and that is something that as long as I’m running the company I’m going to be committed to making sure is the case.”