“They would regularly avoid sites like World Star Hip Hop, The Blaze, and Breitbart.”
If you’ve ever used Facebook, you’ve noticed the list of trending topics on the vertical navbar along the right side of the page. You may have even clicked one or two of them to see what’s happening or why the topic is trending. What you probably didn’t know is that Facebook apparently blacklists certain topics from showing up, or certain news outlets from having their coverage seen by Facebook’s audience.
Gizmodo, a tech blog, talked to the people behind Facebook’s news aggregation service–“news curators” in Facebookspeak–and it turns out that Facebook’s news coverage isn’t based on fancy, unbiased algorithms at all. Nope. Facebook’s news service is instead run by people who want to make sure none of that icky right-wing coverage finds its way in front of people’s eyeballs:
You read that correctly: Facebook’s news curators regularly went out of their way to make sure coverage from conservative sites like The Blaze rarely found its way into Facebook’s coverage of trending news topics.
Facebook’s trending topic blacklist protocol is especially egregious, because it gives its news curators multiple different ways of preventing conservative news or conservative news outlets from ever seeing the light of day. According to former news curators for the tech giant who talked to Gizmodo, the company first determines who is and isn’t a “preferred” news site. Based on that determination, the curators then have the power to blacklist any trending topic that isn’t sufficiently covered by the “preferred” sites.
Facebook’s deliberate blacklisting of conservative content and conservative outlets, as revealed by its own news curators in charge of the process, shouldn’t come as any surprise. The only thing that is surprising is why conservatives would trust organizations like Facebook to provide honest and unbiased accounts of what’s happening in the world.
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