IFWT_Facebook Trending Topic Section

Facebook is in some heat lately as allegations that the social media outlet has actively censored stories from conservative media outlets when items appear in their Trending Topics section.

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Allegations that Facebook has been censoring conservative media first surfaced in a story from Gizmodo where former employees at Facebook revealed they routinely suppressed conservative news from appearing in the Trending Topics section of Facebook’s site.

These former news curators at Facebook told Gizmodo they were instructed to artificially place selected stories into the Trending Topic section even though the stories may not have a popular following. The problem with this is there were also conservative news stories that ranked higher organically than these injected stories.

“We were told that if we saw something, a news story that was on the front page of these ten sites, like CNN, the New York Times, and BBC, then we could inject the topic,”

said one former news curator for Facebook.

“If it looked like it had enough news sites covering the story, we could inject it – even if it wasn’t naturally trending.”

With claims like these coming from sources that have been in Facebook internally, paints Facebook to look like your traditional newsroom. However, Facebook argues otherwise.

Facebook actively dismissed these claims but something worth knowing is that when it came to delivering real-time news to users, Twitter was outdoing Facebook. So to compete, it could be possible that Facebook used this method of injection-journalism on their site to help make up where they fell behind against Twitter.

While much of this still has yet to be confirmed, Gizmodo does explicitly state they were unclear whether or not Facebook’s management was aware of the political censorship among their contract news curators. Nonetheless, Gizmodo’s report has caused some uproar about Facebook’s journalistic values.

Source: Gizmodo