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Story about Facebook's alleged suppression of conservative news now trending … on Facebook

It’s a double-whammy for Facebook this afternoon. After Gizmodo this morning published interviews with former contractors who claim they and others would routinely suppress both conservative news stories and stories critical of Facebook from trending, guess what’s trending on Facebook?


What do you know? Gizmodo’s post is among the top trends on Facebook, right behind stories about House Speaker Paul Ryan and President George W. Bush.

Gizmodo, whose corporate parent is Gawker Media, is no conservative site, but its talk with Facebook “news curators” who claim they were instructed to juice the lagging popularity of certain stories by “injecting” them into the trending news module has resonated with readers.

Those who spoke with Gizmo, including one rare specimen — a conservative journalist who was hired by Facebook — asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, and seemed to agree that whether news of interest to conservatives were to slip through depended on who was tweaking the algorithm results that shift.

“Facebook got a lot of pressure about not having a trending topic for Black Lives Matter,” one former curator told Gizmodo. “They realized it was a problem, and they boosted it in the ordering. They gave it preference over other topics. When we injected it, everyone started saying, ‘Yeah, now I’m seeing it as number one’.”


Gizmo updated its post Monday afternoon, adding that although Facebook didn’t respond to its calls during the writing of the post, Facebook issued a statement to other sites like BuzzFeed and TechCrunch insisting that its guidelines prohibit political bias.

Those might be the guidelines, but an unbiased news feed would depend on the curators, who 1) are given the power to “inject” underperforming stories into the list of legitimately popular trends and 2) would presumably like to keep their jobs, following those guidelines.


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