TechSpot

Facebook denies allegations that it suppressed conservative news stories in its Trending section

By midian182
May 10, 2016
Post New Reply
  1. Facebook has strongly denied allegations it routinely suppressed news stories that supported conservative political viewpoints in its ‘Trending Topics’ section.

    A recent report from Gizmodo claimed that the social media giant had an editorial team of contractors who stopped articles from conservative sites appearing in the influential news section, even if they were trending on the network.

    It’s also alleged that workers were told to inject selected stories into the trending news module, including those not popular enough to warrant inclusion, and were instructed not to include any news about Facebook itself.

    In response to the report, Facebook’s VP of Search, Tom Stocky, wrote that the site had “found no evidence that the anonymous allegations are true.”

    Facebook does not allow or advise our reviewers to systematically discriminate against sources of any ideological origin and we’ve designed our tools to make that technically not feasible. At the same time, our reviewers’ actions are logged and reviewed, and violating our guidelines is a fireable offense. 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. The guidelines do not prohibit any news outlet from appearing in Trending Topics.

    It’s starting to appear as if the allegations had been exaggerated. In a recent report from the New York Times, a former employee of Facebook’s trend curation team suggests that any perceived censoring of trending topics was based on the curators deeming an article to be unreliable - its political leanings had no influence on whether it was included.

    Additionally, the ‘injected items’ claim is said to be the result of Facebook’s editors adding trending stories that hadn’t been picked up by the algorithm.

    Facebook explained that the trending news section is curated by humans rather than relying solely on an algorithm to avoid recurring popular themes from appearing. "Popular topics are first surfaced by an algorithm, then audited by review team members to confirm that the topics are in fact trending news in the real world and not, for example, similar-sounding topics or misnomers."

    The report arrived after Facebook employees asked Mark Zuckerberg last month what responsibility the site had to prevent Donald Trump becoming president. A week later, the CEO indirectly called out the Republican presidential candidate at the F8 keynote when he said: “I hear fearful voices calling for building walls and distancing people they label as others."

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. jauffins

    jauffins TS Enthusiast Posts: 85   +24

    If these allegations are true, color me surprised. 70% of Facebook's "trending news" looks to be a combination of outrageous conservative news and Kim Kardashian/other garbage that is barely famous.
     
  3. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,323   +710

    That's part of the allegations - that Facebook only allows stories which show conservative personalities in the most negative light possible. That is, of course, completely true, although FB isn't as bad as Wikipedia and the rest of the new and old media giants. Media bias has been studied for decades and its beyond argument that the left-wing agenda dominates completely. We know this because the media itself buries any story that illustrates this fact. The only findings that the NBCs, ABCs and CNNs of the world will report are the ones that claim there is no media bias...and they conveniently fail to mention that such conclusions are *ALWAYS* presented by leftist propaganda outlets like Media Matters, Factcheck.org and the rest of the usual suspects. Recently I did a minor edit on a Wikipedia article regarding a so-called independent think tank, clarifying that it was funded entirely by far-left organizations, which is true. The edit was denied. Meanwhile, in *every* article I found regarding similar groups that are funded mostly by conservative or Republican sources, that information was included. You do the math.
     
    LiveResistance and dms96960 like this.
  4. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,547   +2,346

    So. Facebook is accused of manipulating its news feeds. Facebook investigates this accusation. Facebook finds it did nothing wrong.

    I believe them.
     
  5. RustyTech

    RustyTech TS Guru Posts: 865   +434

    /s

    ...just in case some readers hadn't realized ;)
     
    davislane1 likes this.
  6. EClyde

    EClyde TS Guru Posts: 706   +181

    These people are so far left that if something isn't as far left as they...it is conservative which is why they make this claim
     
    ikesmasher likes this.
  7. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 1,953   +162

    At least it's not as bad as Ron Paul or Bernie Sanders, which had almost no mention until the end of the primaries. I have never seen either mentioned on facebook. Then again I rarely use facebook and haven't noticed hardly any politics anyways. I think I blocked all the political feeds that have popped up.

    Even the democrat colbert suppressed Bernie saying hillary copies him anyways so vote for her she has the same ideals and has a better chance of winning. That's so ignorant, copying someone to win is not the same as having the same ideals. He is only 14% behind Hillary but iv yet to see anyone treat him as a serious contender.

    Holy hellion, I just read an article about super delegates... It says that bernie is winning the vote by the people but the party leaders who don't go off of our votes, SUPER DELEGATES make up 15% of the democratic vote. They are all voting for hillary, what happened to by the people for the people? (republicans have them too, to some lesser extent it seems).

    http://www.ibtimes.com/can-bernie-s...nt-does-not-look-good-vermont-senator-2363905
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2016
  8. LiveResistance

    LiveResistance TS Booster Posts: 85   +64

    This is what I thought when reading the article. it's kinda like the kid that gets into the ice cream and has chocolate all over his face saying he didn't do it. :)
     
  9. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,310   +56

    Facebook has a lot of fox news stories. What's more conservative than that?
     
  10. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,547   +2,346

    That's because he isn't. A run of the mill socialist has less than a candle's chance in Hell against two crony capitalist liberals (Hillary & Trump).
     

Similar Topics

Add New Comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...