I’ve suspected this to be true for years, and now we finally know with certainty, thanks to this piece from Gizmodo, that Facebook has been suppressing conservative news and views. (emphasis in bold is mine)
Facebook workers routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network’s influential “trending” news section, according to a former journalist who worked on the project. This individual says that 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.
P.S.: I knew it…
Several former Facebook “news curators,” as they were known internally, also told Gizmodo that they 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 other words, Facebook’s news section operates like a traditional newsroom, reflecting the biases of its workers and the institutional imperatives of the corporation. Imposing human editorial values onto the lists of topics an algorithm spits out is by no means a bad thing—but it is in stark contrast to the company’s claims that the trending module simply lists “topics that have recently become popular on Facebook.”
These new allegations emerged after Gizmodo last week revealed details about the inner workings of Facebook’s trending news team—a small group of young journalists, primarily educated at Ivy League or private East Coast universities, who curate the “trending” module on the upper-right-hand corner of the site. As we reported last week, curators have access to a ranked list of trending topics surfaced by Facebook’s algorithm, which prioritizes the stories that should be shown to Facebook users in the trending section. The curators write headlines and summaries of each topic, and include links to news sites. The section, which launched in 2014, constitutes some of the most powerful real estate on the internet and helps dictate what news Facebook’s users—167 million in the US alone—are reading at any given moment.
Stories covered by conservative outlets (like Breitbart, Washington Examiner, and Newsmax) that were trending enough to be picked up by Facebook’s algorithm were excluded unless mainstream sites like the New York Times, the BBC, and CNN covered the same stories.
Other former curators interviewed by Gizmodo denied consciously suppressing conservative news, and we were unable to determine if left-wing news topics or sources were similarly suppressed.
This ^ is way too calm for my liking on this topic…I’m going to yell at cyberspace for a little bit starting right now…
OF COURSE THEY COULDN’T FIND SUPPRESSION OF LIBERAL STORIES…DUH!
So, what did Facebook have to say for themselves? The same thing they always do when users want some sense, any sense, of accountability from the second largest website on the planet…
Gizmodo reached out to Facebook for comment about each of these specific claims via email and phone, but did not receive a response.
NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
The question now is what can conservatives do about it? Well, Facebook NEEDS your traffic. They can’t have it if you decide to go somewhere else. There are up and coming sites like Tea Party Community, where conservatives can go discuss our beliefs and the news of the day without wondering if it will be suppressed…stay tuned.