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Former Facebook news curators say they regularly suppressed conservative news from the site’s trending news section

Gizmodo

You might have heard: Facebook’s trending news section is controlled by a group of contractors who curate the news, who have a list of “preferred media outlets” they’re encouraged to choose from

But did you know: Several former Facebook news curators for the site’s trending news section say they regularly suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers, Gizmodo reports. Those news curators, quoted anonymously, also say they were instructed to include some stories as trending, even if they weren’t necessarily popular enough to be included. Gizmodo’s Michael Nunez writes: “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.”

+ Facebook’s response: Facebook says that it does not “permit the suppression of political perspectives” and has never banned an outlet from appearing in trending news (The Verge) and Tom Stocky, who oversees the trending news section, says no evidence was found that curators were manipulating trending stories and Facebook does “not insert stories artificially into trending topics, and [does] not instruct our reviewers to do so” (Facebook)

+ Mathew Ingram on whether Facebook has a commitment to journalistic principles: Facebook wants to avoid seeing itself as a media outlet, but it has bigger influence than any single news source, and it’s going to have to think about these issues eventually (Fortune); J.D. Rucker argues that the Internet as a whole censors conservative viewpoints, though in more subtle ways than Facebook’s news curators may have (Soshable)

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