Why There Will Never Be Balance or Fairness on Facebook

Meet the Press this week with George Stephanopoulos asked me to be on yesterday and talk about this Facebook thing. I just want to address it with you today instead.

I never said that there isn't bias on Facebook or that Facebook doesn't lean strongly left as a platform. What I have said is I have not seen any evidence that there is a concerted organized effort from Facebook's leadership, including their algorithms that purposefully skew things or try to suppress conservative topics or stories.

Now, I brought up a few minutes ago, Steven Crowder. Steven Crowder is -- and some other conservatives as well --- claiming that they believe Facebook does willfully and knowingly suppress topics, organizations and users who suppress conservative views. And I believe that they earnestly believe that, that they have been unfairly treated by Facebook on certain products, like trending topics. I'm not saying that they haven't been unfairly treated or that bias from Facebook employees doesn't exist. I'm saying I haven't been presented with that evidence.

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

Last week, one of the guys said that he has seen his traffic go down 50 percent, and it's because he's a conservative, when they changed the algorithm. But even he admitted that Huffington Post had gone down 70 percent because of the same algorithm change. So it's clearly not a conservative bias.

Facebook is a privately-owned, publicly-traded company a private platform. They aren't under any obligation to share their algorithm, nor should they. This is like going to a drug company and saying, "Hey, we know you have a license for this, we know you invented it, but you should give us the formula." No. They are a private company, publicly traded. It is their rules, not ours. And if we don't like it, we can leave at any time, but I don't suggest it because Facebook is the medium of the future.

What is frightening to me is that so many so-called conservatives, who are actually progressive Republicans -- and note, this does not include Crowder who has openly stated that Facebook is privately owned --- but these conservatives, these progressives that would make claims against Facebook as if they had any right whatsoever to demand or lay claim on something that was invented and owned by someone else. Those who believe they have such a claim should check their premise.

Their premise is wrong. Their premise is not based on anything that is conservative. Facebook --- listen to me, listen to me carefully --- Facebook is by design a social platform. Zuckerberg claims he wants to have a fully open platform where users control the flow, trend and scope of all ideas shared. That means, there will never be balance or fairness on Facebook, no matter what technology and what the technology team does. Any wholly-open platform like that will always tend towards left-leaning ideas and themes getting more attention.

If it is truly open, it will still lead to more left-leaning ideas.

Why? Because this is the psychology of the left. People on the left need to be heard, need to be validated. In order to feel whole, they have to be. They are psychologically addicted to having their ideas validated by others because reality doesn't validate their ideas. Because reality shows them that they are wrong, they must have others validate their ideas. Conservatives don't have a psychological need to be cheered on and validated by others because our ideas are validated in the real world. That's why we're not engaged like the left is. We see it work, so we just go to work and continue to do it.

It's only when the world starts rejecting the real world, and we enter into this upside down world, where nothing is based in reality, that we truly get frustrated.

Conservatives are less likely to be posting, we are less likely to be shrieking to be listened to, whining until someone gives us the thumbs up. In life, correct moral principles applied to situations provide their own validation. It's called success.

A platform like that also gives leftists the consequence-free opportunity to attack others with the three major weapons that they hold: fear, shame and guilt. That's what they have. They can shame others. They can make others feel guilty. They can incite fear by shouting at anyone who disagrees with them and face little opposition or consequence of reprisal by way of debate or by their claims being proven false.

Facebook isn't set up that way. It doesn't use crowdsourcing to fact-check. It uses popularity to push ideas forward to the top of the feed. It's not based on reality. It's based on a constantly flowing stream of consciousness that isn't associated with reality. So nobody should expect parity. Nobody should expect balance. Nobody should expect fairness on a platform like that because it will never exist.

For people on the left, Facebook is a highly addictive thing because it finally gives them exactly what everybody has always needed: Social validation of irrational ideas, disconnecting from the correcting mechanisms of reality.

That means they are far more likely to be the loudest and the most ardent users. Have you ever wondered why conservatives don't use social media? That's why. It's not that we're just busy. We're busy validating the ideas that work in reality.

So there is nothing that Zuckerberg or his employees need to do in order to --- in order for bias to exist or dominate. Because of the psychological needs of the people on the left, they will always rise up and take over when it comes to popularity. They need it more than we do.

Now, here's the thing, people will say, "Well, they use the New York Times, they'll replace things. Let's say Breitbart breaks a story, and then they'll go in and they'll look for that story. Did anybody else report on that story? How about the New York Times?

People do that. That is normal for a mainstream media organization to do. They will use and they will look at the biggest source that they can find on that story because it gives that story more credibility than it would from TheBlaze over the New York Times.

But the progressives in Silicon Valley don't really fully understand that if you've been on the receiving end of the New York Times blasting over and over again, it's not the same to conservatives.

Fox News is more like the New York Times. And if there was really, truly balance --- or if there was really, truly fraud going on, if there was really, truly somebody trying to shut down ideas --- Fox News wouldn't be the biggest source on all of Facebook. It's the biggest news organization. But outside of that, what do you have? The Wall Street Journal? What other big credible news divisions are there? We know what the left has: ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post, the New York Times. I could go on.

What do we have? What giant news organization do we have? What giant network do we have?

The news organizations that we were starting have so badly degraded themselves on principles that we're becoming everything we despise. That doesn't lead to credibility. That doesn't lead to a larger voice.

I put a lot of thought into this in the last 18 months and even more in the last eight. But I'm changing TheBlaze entirely for an entirely new world. By the end of the year, it won't be the same Blaze because I don't think it works this way anymore. And I don't think we can be separate organizations anymore. I mean, we can be separate, but we need to start coming together. We need to start working together. We need to stop doubling our efforts.

We need to start finding the people that will actually . . . this has been a great blessing, this last election, because you see who actually will stand by their principles. Who is it that will really, truly stand up?

This meeting with Facebook was really, really informative to me. Now, I'm sure --- and I'm only saying Tucker Carlson because he has quoted me; I didn't quote him, he has quoted me --- but what he is saying about what he said at the meeting is not true. It was quotas that he was talking about --- quotas. Three percent of the population is Mormon. That was his quote --- three percent. So I'm not saying that we go there that far, but shouldn't it be representative of how many conservatives there are? Shouldn't you hire that way? That's a quota. Quotas don't work. Quotas don't work. And the only ones that believe that are progressives on the right and progressives on the left. And they've already exposed themselves. Progressives are who progressives are and they always will be.

The question is, do you want to continue to play the game that the progressive right wants you to play? Will you see the smears for what they are? Will you actually look and say, "I am violating my principles by trying to fix a problem, I would violate my principles, so that can't be the answer."

Featured Image: Screenshot from The Glenn Beck Program

Stop trying to be right and think of the children

Mario Tama/Getty Images

All the outrage this week has mainly focused on one thing: the evil Trump administration and its minions who delight in taking children from their illegal immigrant parents and throwing them all in dungeons. Separate dungeons, mind you.

That makes for a nice, easy storyline, but the reality is less convenient. Most Americans seem to agree that separating children from their parents — even if their parents entered the US illegally — is a bad thing. But what if that mom and dad you're trying to keep the kids with aren't really the kids' parents? Believe it or not, fraud happens.

RELATED: Where were Rachel Maddow's tears for immigrant children in 2014?

While there are plenty of heartbreaking stories of parents simply seeking a chance for a better life for their children in the US, there are also corrupt, abusive human traffickers who profit from the illegal immigration trade. And sorting all of this out is no easy task.

This week, the Department of Homeland Security said that since October 2017, more than 300 children have arrived at the border with adults claiming to be their parents who turned out not to be relatives. 90 of these fraud cases came from the Rio Grande Valley sector alone.

In 2017, DHS reported 46 causes of fraudulent family claims. But there have already been 191 fraud cases in 2018.

Shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

When Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pointed out this 315 percent increase, the New York Times was quick to give these family fraud cases "context" by noting they make up less than one percent of the total number of illegal immigrant families apprehended at the southern border. Their implication was that Nielsen was exaggerating the numbers. Even if the number of fraud cases at the border was only 0.001 percent, shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

This is the most infuriating part of this whole conversation this week (if you can call it a "conversation") — that both sides have an angle to defend. And while everyone's busy yelling and making their case, children are being abused.

What if we just tried, for two seconds, to love having mercy more than we love having to be right all the time?

Remember when cartoons were happy things? Each panel took you on a tiny journey, carrying you to an unexplored place. In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud writes:

The comics creator asks us to join in a silent dance of the seen and the unseen. The visible and the invisible. This dance is unique to comics. No other artform gives so much to its audience while asking so much from them as well. This is why I think it's a mistake to see comics as a mere hybrid of the graphic arts and prose fiction. What happens between . . . panels is a kind of magic only comics can create.

When that magic is manipulated or politicized, it often devolves the artform into a baseless thing. Yesterday, Occupy Wall Street published the perfect example of low-brow deviation of the artform: A six-panel approach at satire, which imitates the instructions-panel found in the netted cubbyhole behind seats on airplanes. The cartoon is a critique of the recent news about immigrant children being separated from their parents after crossing the border. It is a step-by-step guide to murdering US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents.

RELATED: Cultural appropriation has jumped the shark, and everyone is noticing

The first panel shows a man shoving an infant into a cage meant for Pomeranians. The following five panels feature instructions, and include pictures of a cartoonish murder.

The panels read as follows:

  1. If an ICE agent tries to take your child at the border, don't panic.
  2. Pull your child away as quickly as possibly by force.
  3. Gently tell your child to close his/her eyes and ears so they won't witness what you are about to do.
  4. Grab the ICE agent from behind and push your knife into his chest with an upward thrust, causing the agent's sternum to break.
  5. Reach into his chest and pull out his still beating heart.
  6. Hold his bloody heart out for all other agents to see, and tell them that the same fate awaits them if they f--- with your child again.

Violent comics are nothing new. But most of the time, they remain in the realms of invented worlds — in other words, not in our own, with reference to actual people, let alone federal agents.

The mainstream media made a game of crying racism with every cartoon depiction of Obama during his presidency, as well as during his tenure as Senator, when the New Yorker, of all things, faced scrutiny for depicting him in "Muslim clothing." Life was a minefield for political cartoonists during the Obama era.

Chris Hondros/Getty Images

This year, we saw the leftist outrage regarding The Simpsons character Apu — a cartoon representation of a highly-respected, though cartoonishly-depicted, character on a cartoon show composed of cartoonishly-depicted characters.

We all remember Charlie Hebdo, which, like many outlets that have used cartoon satire to criticize Islam, faced the wrath and ire of people unable to see even the tamest representation of the prophet, Muhammad.

Interesting, isn't it? Occupy Wall Street publishes a cartoon that advocates murdering federal agents, and critics are told to lighten up. Meanwhile, the merest depiction of Muhammad has resulted in riots throughout the world, murder and terror on an unprecedented scale.

The intersection of Islam and comics is complex enough to have its own three-hour show, so we'll leave it at that, for now. Although, it is worth mentioning the commentary by satirical website The Onion, which featured a highly offensive cartoon of all the major religious figures except Muhammad. It noted:

Following the publication of the image above, in which the most cherished figures from multiple religious faiths were depicted engaging in a lascivious sex act of considerable depravity, no one was murdered, beaten, or had their lives threatened.

Of course, Occupy Wall Street is free to publish any cartoon they like. Freedom of speech, and so on—although there have been several instances in which violent cartoons were ruled to have violated the "yelling fire in a crowded theater" limitation of the First Amendment.

Posting it to Twitter is another issue — this is surely in violation of Twitter's violent content policy, but something tells me nothing will come of it. It's a funny world, isn't it? A screenshot of a receipt from Chick-fil-A causes outrage but a cartoon advocating murder gets crickets.

RELATED: Twitter mob goes ballistic over Father's Day photo of Caitlyn Jenner. Who cares?

In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud concludes that, "Today the possibilities for comics are — as they've always been — endless. Comics offers . . . range and versatility, with all the potential imagery of film and painting plus the intimacy of the written word. And all that's needed is the desire to be heard, the will to learn, and the ability to see."

Smile, and keep moving forward.

Crude and awful as the Occupy Wall Street comic is, the best thing we can do is nod and look elsewhere for the art that will open our eyes. Let the lunatics draw what they want, let them stew in their own flawed double standards. Otherwise, we're as shallow and empty as they are, and nothing good comes of that. Smile, and keep moving forward.

Things are getting better. Show the world how to hear, how to learn, how to see.

People should start listening to Nikki Haley

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images

Okay. Let's take a vote. You know, an objective, quantifiable count. How many resolutions has the UN Human Rights Council adopted condemning dictatorships? Easy. Well. How do you define "dictatorship"?

Well, one metric is the UN Human Rights Council Condemnation. How many have the United Nations issued to China, with a body count higher than a professional Call of Duty player?

Zero.

How about Venezuela, where socialism is devouring its own in the cruelest, most unsettling ways imaginable?

Zero.

And Russia, home of unsettling cruelty and rampant censorship, murder and (actual) homophobia?

Zero.

Iraq? Zero. Turkey? Iraq? Zero. Cuba? Zero. Pakistan? Zero.

RELATED: Nikki Haley just dropped some serious verbal bombs on Russia at the UN

According to UN Human Rights Council Condemnations, 2006-2016, none of these nations is as dangerous as we'd imagined. Or, rather, none of them faced a single condemnation. Meanwhile, one country in particular has faced unbelievable scrutiny and fury — you'll never guess which country.

No, it's not Somalia. It's Israel. With 68 UN Human Rights Council Condemnations! In fact, the number of total United Nations condemnations against Israel outnumbers the total of condemnations against all other countries combined. The only country that comes close is Syria, with 15.

The Trump administration withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday in protest of what it perceives as an entrenched bias against Israel and a willingness to allow notorious human rights abusers as members.

In an address to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Nikki Haley said:

Let's remember that the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy. This is what is endangering the people of Gaza. Make no mistake, Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday... No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.

Maybe people should start listening to Haley. Hopefully, they will. Not likely, but there's no crime in remaining hopeful.

Here's a question unique to our times: "Should I tell my father 'Happy Father's Day,' even though he (she?) is now one of my mothers?"

Father's Day was four days ago, yes, but this story is just weird enough to report on. One enjoyable line to read was this gem from Hollywood Gossip: "Cait is a woman and a transgender icon, but she is also and will always be the father of her six children."

RELATED: If Bruce was never a he and always a she, who won the men's Olympic gold in 1976?

Imagine reading that to someone ten — even five — years ago. And, honestly, there's something nice about it. But the strangeness of its having ever been written overpowers any emotional impact it might bring.

"So lucky to have you," wrote Kylie Jenner, in the Instagram caption under pre-transition pictures of Bruce Jenner.

Look. I risk sounding like a tabloid by mere dint of having even mentioned this story, but the important element is the cultural sway that's occurring. The original story was that a band of disgruntled Twitter users got outraged about the supposed "transphobic" remarks by Jenner's daughter.

But, what we should be saying is, "who the hell cares?" Who cares what one Jenner says to another — and more importantly and on a far deeper level — who cares what some anonymous Twitter user has to say?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob? Because, at the moment, they've got it pretty good. They have a nifty relationship with the mainstream media: One or two Twitter users get outraged by any given thing — in this case Jenner and supposed transphobia. In return, the mainstream media use the Twitter comment as a source.

Then, a larger Twitter audience points to the article itself as proof that there's some kind of systemic justice at play. It's a closed-market currency, where the negative feedback loop of proof and evidence is composed of faulty accusations. Isn't it a hell of a time to be alive?