Facebook is taking very seriously charges made by former contractors that topics of interest to conservatives were routinely suppressed on the site’s trending topics feed, while stories about Black Lives Matter, though not as popular, were ‘injected’ into the feed to bump up their visibility.
Facebook has denied any bias, and today Vice President of Global Operations Justin Osofsky posted an overview of the guidelines that direct Facebook’s Trending Topics team and explained why #lunch never seems to trend.
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) May 12, 2016
@nycjim You made me nearly spit out my water. (not eating lunch or I'd said that)
— Jessica Denson (@Newsie2) May 12, 2016
There’s something ironic about Facebook confirming that its news stories are tied to “the real world.” To ensure that happens, Osofsky writes that Facebook’s news editors check each story against a list of 1,000 trusted news sources — and yes, popular news satire site The Onion is on the list, as is comedy site Cracked and unintentionally comic site The Daily Kos.
Motherboard, however, writes that the posted list wasn’t quite up to date, and that Buzzfeed has replaced Yahoo News in the current list of Facebook’s most trustworthy news sites.
Buzzfeed is currently the only new media organization on Facebook's "most trusted" list. https://t.co/FryLMkkJ75
— Jason Koebler (@jason_koebler) May 12, 2016
— Antonio (@Antonio9847) May 12, 2016
— L'esprit d'escalier (@Noachl) May 12, 2016
@jason_koebler Who doesn't trust "10 reasons why kittens are cute" news stories???? smh
— Cheesetrader (@cheesetrader1) May 12, 2016
— tauntButtered (@tauntButtered) May 12, 2016
— Michael Scarn (@Agent_MScarn) May 12, 2016
Which is least trusted amongst everyone else & proudly declares only one side to news stories. But no bias. https://t.co/9EHTMvq6SB
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) May 12, 2016
What’s that about there being only one side to news stories? Oh, that’s right — now we remember.
— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) June 26, 2015
Whether Buzzfeed is totally liberally biased or only mostly liberally biased, would Mark Zuckerberg and staff even be able to tell the difference between that and straight news?
@jason_koebler Delete your FB. Pull it root and branch. Not jumping on the bash FB train. Just don't see a need beyond commercial ventures
— Curtis N Kimsey (@kimsey_n) May 12, 2016
At least Facebook has apparently eased up on its alleged policy not to allow news stories about Facebook itself to trend.
"Ok, team. We pretty much have to put this on the list. But make it sound as boring and harmless as possible." pic.twitter.com/89Vy2BS5a2
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) May 12, 2016