According to a former journalist/news curator who worked on Facebook; the social network’s trending news project has said that Facebook has always manipulated the trends that serves as news to millions of people around the people. The individual also told media that Facebook has also suppressed the news to the conservative readers. Even though the topics about right-wing CPAC gathering, Rand Paul, Mitt Romney and other conservative stories were trending on the site among its users originally, they were never included in social networking site’s influential Trending feed. Many of Facebook’s former employees who worked on the project and as Facebook called them internally as news curators, have stated the same thing. Facebook’s poor behaviour towards the people working on news trending project has also raised certain eyebrows after former employees told that the company is been treating them badly.
Facebook’s Trending section functions as a feed which aggregates news and trending topics which are either trending on the site among users or are trending in mainstream online media. However, since the beginning, Facebook has been continuously alleged of showing and including stories which the company wanted to, not which were originally trending. In short, Facebook’s trending section has also become a newsroom which reflects the biases of it’s workers, not an unbiased online news source. And it’s not simply a matter of getting ‘news’. Facebook is attempting to influence opinions as to what are acceptable views. Many people can be pressured by constantly being hit with only the “proper” (in Facebook’s opinion) information.But then, this is hardly a phenomenon that is specific to just Facebook. The vast majority of media in the United States is left-leaning and they don’t want to give you any opportunities to get news from them that has a conservative viewpoint. The most watched network is Fox. The biggest radio show is Rush. The most popilular natonal paper is the Wall St Journal. 2/3 of newspaper endorsements are republicans, even in strong Liberal cities (NY Daily News, Detroit News, etc.) The media took down Bill Clinton. The Media created the Tea Party and the Birthers. The Media promotes Donald Trump. And a lot of Republicans will be happy to tell you that Fox is center-left, the WSJ is less partisan than the NYT, and Rush is under constant attack from the powerul NPR socialists who control the government. As long as they keep repeating the story of persecution, it’ll get picked up as fact somewhere (see, for instance, this article), so there’s zero incentive to acknowledge reality.
Of course, it’s not the only thread of reports that say that FB is manipulative and unethical. I don’t think they’ve ever really hid that part of their business model since they’re constantly trying to draw more money out, be it by encouraging like farming or manipulating paid reach. FB is slimy as all get out, but what is anyone going to do about it? And honestly, conservative new/views should be suppressed on a social media platform which serves billions of users.
As unpopular as this opinion may be, I don’t want facebook or other social sites to be journalistically unbiased. They are not News. They are not journalists. They are corporate citizens and as corporate citizens they have a responsibility to take a stand (any stand) and help fight for it. The expectation that these sites would comply with the same journalistic standards as actual news sources is ridiculous.