Facebook Censors Trending News

May 10, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Facebook has a trending news section that shows users the stories that are generating a lot of discussion. It’s a big driver of traffic to web pages and, according to Michael Nunez, it’s being censored:

  • The trending news isn’t just an algorithm. Humans see what stories are doing well and then decide what to call ‘trending’.
  • However, the people who have made those decisions in the past have often been liberal in their political outlook and have suppressed conservative news stories.
  • Facebook says that this isn’t a directive from them, and that they were unaware of this practice.
  • What does seem to be an official practice, however, is to tell trending news curators to promote certain stories – even if they aren’t actually trending.
  • This is because sometimes major stories – like the Syrian civil war – don’t see a lot of discussion on Facebook, but the company wanted to be taken seriously as a news source. Such stories are thus artificially promoted it as ‘trending’.
  • Facebook also officially suppresses any trending stories that report on Facebook itself.

After this article was published it became a trending topic on Facebook so there’s…that. Read more about what this says about Facebook as a media company, and Facebook’s official response over here.

Source: Gizmodo