Stories about the liberal bias of the old media (i.e. network news, Hollywood, etc.) don’t come as a surprise to anyone. With the rise of the new media, which is largely digitally based, countless new voices, including conservative voices, have been allowed to flourish. However, it now appears that that the new media is up to the same dirty tricks as the old media they’ve replaced.
In an interview with the website Gizmodo, a former worker at Facebook has admitted that the social network suppressed conservative news and opinions. The worker, who worked as a news “curator”, claims that Facebook workers regularly kept stories including the “right-wing CPAC gathering, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, and other conservative topics” from appearing on Facebook’s influential “trending topics” section.
The technology website Gizmodo reported:
“Depending on who was on shift, things would be blacklisted or trending,” said the former curator. This individual asked to remain anonymous, citing fear of retribution from the company. The former curator is politically conservative, one of a very small handful of curators with such views on the trending team. “I’d come on shift and I’d discover that CPAC or Mitt Romney or Glenn Beck or popular conservative topics wouldn’t be trending because either the curator didn’t recognize the news topic or it was like they had a bias against Ted Cruz.”
The 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.
“It was absolutely bias. We were doing it subjectively. It just depends on who the curator is and what time of day it is,” another former curator told Gizmodo.
So we can now dispel the idea that Facebook is unbiased in what it chooses to prioritize and show you. In fact, as Gizmodo notes, the social network operates just like a traditional newsroom: reflecting the liberal bias of its workers.
Read the full story here.