By Andrew Bolt ~
Facebook workers routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network’s influential “trending” news section, according to a former journalist who worked on the project. This individual says that workers prevented stories about the right-wing CPAC gathering, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, and other conservative topics from appearing in the highly-influential section, even though they were organically trending among the site’s users.
Several former Facebook “news curators,” as they were known internally, also told Gizmodo that they were instructed to artificially “inject” selected stories into the trending news module, even if they weren’t popular enough to warrant inclusion—or in some cases weren’t trending at all….
In other words, Facebook’s news section operates like a traditional newsroom, reflecting the biases of its workers and the institutional imperatives of the corporation….
[One] former curator was so troubled by the omissions that they kept a running log of them at the time; this individual provided the notes to Gizmodo. Among the deep-sixed or suppressed topics on the list: former IRS official Lois Lerner, who was accused by Republicans of inappropriately scrutinizing conservative groups; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; popular conservative news aggregator the Drudge Report; Chris Kyle, the former Navy SEAL who was murdered in 2013; and former Fox News contributor Steven Crowder. “I believe it had a chilling effect on conservative news,” the former curator said.
Tom Stocky, the MIT-educated vice president of Facebook who oversees the “Trending Topics” section, said there’s “no evidence” of an anti-conservative whitewash.
“We take these reports extremely seriously, and have found no evidence that the anonymous allegations are true,” Stocky posted late Monday on his Facebook page.
Facebook has been accused of censoring views that differ from its own social agenda after it deleted a post by a Sydney man who suggested same-sex marriage advocates should accept some of the blame for making gay people feel marginalised.
John Dickson, who runs the Centre for Public Christianity, posted the opinion to his 10,000 friends and followers on Saturday morning, calling for a more respectful conversation on the divisive issue.
By that night, Facebook had removed the post because it did not adhere to the social media giant’s “community standards”.
But in a dramatic about-face, Mr Dickson’s post reappeared on Facebook at 8.30pm yesterday after former human rights commissioner Tim Wilson approached the company.
Andrew Bolt writes for the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, and The Advertiser and runs Australia’s most-read political blog. On week nights he hosts The Bolt Report on Sky News at 7pm and his Macquarie Radio show at 8pm with Steve Price.