Facebook Thought Crimes: Censoring Conservatives via Trending Topics Box (REACTION)

Facebook has been accused of censoring conservative news from their “Trending Topics” box on the front page of their website by former contractors who contacted Gizmodo.com anonymously. Liberal bias seems to be the primary reason for the alleged censorship of conservatism on the behemoth platform. An algorithm is used to propagate most of the stories that make it to the Trending Topics area of the website, however, the stories must be audited by a team of people called “content curators” before they actually make it to the box.

A prime example is a story about Bill Clinton chastising Black Lives Matter. That story may be very hot in the algorithm, but it may only have coverage on conservative leaning websites. That fact alone may be enough for the auditors to reject the story, or at least wait until the story has been picked up by non conservative news websites so they can use those links as references in the box. This is partly because while Facebook does hire journalists, their only job is to curate content, which is basically content aggregation. But they do not cover stories like traditional reporters. They are more like gatekeepers; human robots that eventually train Facebook’s algorithm to recognize the types of stories that will create the most engagement with a liberal bias.

Many have called for the United States Government to intervene. This is a tall order, because Facebook, while publicly traded, is for all intents and purposes a private company. They are not government owned, so how much Government intervention could they actually have? Probably not enough to warrant Government intrusion into their day to day business. More than anything, the potential revelation of Facebook censoring conservative news from their Trending Topics pane gives conservative content creators who use the platform a wake-up call.

Trending Topics are the only thing that has been accused of being biased against conservatives here, but what about original content created on the platform and disseminated via the “boost post” feature, which is directly user-paid? Is that also affected by anti-conservative bias? That question can’t really be answered, but the fact that it must be asked should be reason to give any conservative who relies on the Facebook platform a pause for concern.

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Senate demands answers from Facebook
http://money.cnn.com/2016/05/10/technology/facebook-news-senate/index.html

Former Facebook Workers: We Routinely Suppressed Conservative News
http://gizmodo.com/former-facebook-workers-we-routinely-suppressed-conser-1775461006

Want to Know What Facebook Really Thinks of Journalists? Here’s What Happened When It Hired Some.
http://gizmodo.com/want-to-know-what-facebook-really-thinks-of-journalists-1773916117