Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in an online post late Thursday that the social network does not censor conservative topics on their Trending Topics module despite accusations of political bias. Zuckerberg says the company has guidelines they follow, which does not permit preference and prioritization of topics.
Facebook released on Thursday the full guidelines for news selection, used to filter Trending Topics stories. The guidebook includes a list of news outlets the company considers representative of global events. It also shows that human judgment is part of the process.
Accusations against Facebook
A claim made by an ex-Facebook staffer, cited by Gizmodo, said that Facebook excludes stories from conservative media sites from the Trending Topics section. The ex-staffer also said that liberal curators manipulated the popularity of Black Lives Matter.
An investigation on the subject was started. Analytics firms with access to Facebook’s internal data, working with Data Sift, tried comparing Black Lives Matter to other trending topics. But no one seemed to be able to share the numbers of the comparison.
The anonymous source said that some of the topics that were not added to the list included Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, CPAC, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the Drudge Report, and former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.
As soon as the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce heard about the accusations, it wrote a letter to Zuckerberg asking Facebook representatives for the guidelines.
The reason for this demand was, mostly, because Facebook is a great tool to influence the presidential elections and, according to RNC, it is not good that the tool is being used to only show certain information.
Facebook decided to launch its own investigation into the anonymous claims. The company does not agree with the accusations related to workers posting only liberal stories on the Trending Topics list.
The CEO said he will invite conservative leaders and other politics to talk about the controversy. He said he is hoping to hear their points of view, as well as hoping to explain what Facebook really is.
Source: CBS News