According to new findings published by Gizmodo on May 9, Facebook workers reportedly routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network’s influential “trending” news section. This finding was reportedly revealed by a former journalist who worked on the project.
The individual says Facebook workers prevented stories about the right-wing CPAC gathering, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, and other conservative topics from appearing in the highly-influential section, even though they were organically trending among the site’s users.
The Gizmodo story further revealed that, several former Facebook “news curators,” as they were known internally, were instructed to artificially “inject” selected stories into the trending news module, even if they weren’t popular enough to warrant inclusion—or in some cases weren’t trending at all. The former curators, all of whom worked as contractors, also said they were directed not to include news about Facebook itself in the trending module.
In reaction to the allegations, a Facebook spokesperson have issued the following statement to news media outlets including BuzzFeed and TechCrunch.
“We take allegations of bias very seriously. Facebook is a platform for people and perspectives from across the political spectrum. Trending Topics shows you the popular topics and hashtags that are being talked about on Facebook. There are rigorous guidelines in place for the review team to ensure consistency and neutrality. These guidelines do not permit the suppression of political perspectives. Nor do they permit the prioritization of one viewpoint over another or one news outlet over another. These guidelines do not prohibit any news outlet from appearing in Trending Topics.”
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News source: Gizmodo