Yesterday, Hill reporter David McCabe broke the story on Facebook’s intentional censorship of conservative news stories, which otherwise would have been found under Facebook’s “trending stories” section. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have a “trending stories” section which features the most clicked, tweeted and shared stories. Not only does this show which stories people are most interested in but it also gives these stories the potential to gain more traction and go “viral”.
According to the Hill
Contractors who worked as ‘curators’ for Facebook’s trending topics section, which can bring significant attention to news stories, regularly didn’t include stories trending among political conservatives, according to a Monday report from Gizmodo.
A former curator told Gizmodo that when he or she would log on, they would see that topics popular with conservatives were not included on the list. The contractor, a conservative, speculated that the person running the list ‘didn’t recognize the news topic’ or was biased against a conservative figure involved.
According to another former curator, if a trending story originated from a conservative news outlet, curators would look for a link to the story from a neutral site. Gizmodo reported that it was unable to determine if curators took the same steps for stories from liberal news outlets. Curator also have the ability to manually insert topics into the trending list even if it is not among the most discussed and shared stories. Among the conservative topics left out in 2015 is included: Lois Lerner, the Drudge Report and Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who was on the republican Presidential ballot.
While it is certainly possible that curators could be tampering with the trending stories on Facebook without the direction of their superiors, that likelihood is small and it is much more likely that the have been directed by their superiors to do exactly what they are doing, as this is not an isolated incident of just one or a few curators tampering with the trending topics. Curators on a large scale would have to be doing this for it to effect the news feed in the way it has. If curators were tampering with this on a wide scale without the direction of their superiors, it would be coincidental at best. No, it is almost certain that curators were directed by their superiors to tamper with the trending new feed to direct in away from conservative leaning stories and sites. This proves problematic for Facebook, which has always claimed political neutrality.
The fact that Facebook is likely censoring conservative stories proves that conservative ideas and values are better and more popular. If conservative stories were not more popular than liberal ones Facebook would have no reason to censor such stories as they would not need to worry about competition from such stories. The fact that the censorship is likely occurring proves that conservative stories are at least as popular if not more so than liberal ideas. This theory I cannot take credit for however as it is also being supported by talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, and co-host of the Five on Fox News, Greg Gutfeld.