Mark Zuckerberg: ‘no evidence’ that Facebook suppresses conservative news

Days after allegations surfaced that the world’s largest social network was burying conservative news, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday night that the tech firm is investigating the claims but hasn’t found any evidence the report is true.

“We take this report very seriously and are conducting a full investigation to ensure our teams upheld the integrity of this product,” Zuckerberg wrote in a post about the topic. “We have found no evidence that this report is true. If we find anything against our principles, you have my commitment that we will take additional steps to address it.”

The CEO said that in the coming weeks he’ll be inviting conservatives and people with other political beliefs to discuss this issue.

On Monday, Gizmodo reported that a former Facebook contractor claimed that “news curators” for the site’s “trending” news section suppressed stories about conservative topics such as those about Mitt Romney and a CPAC gathering. Citing anonymous sources, Gizmodo also wrote that workers would “inject” stories including ones about the Black Lives Matter movement into the section even if they weren’t popular enough.

Facebook denied the allegations, but the report sparked concerns from some Republicans, who demanded more answers. That included Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., who sent a letter to Zuckerberg asking for more details about how the company handles trending news.

Some media ethicists, including Kelly McBride, say that if the report is true it poses a problem because “it demonstrates the ability to manipulate the marketplace of ideas from behind the scenes.” A growing number of people are using social media to read news stories. About 64 percent of U.S. adults use Facebook and half of those users get news there, according to the Pew Research Center.

On Thursday, documents first leaked to the Guardian and then released by Facebook, showed how the company relies on an editorial team, not only an algorithm, to place news stories in the “trending” section on the site.

Here’s the full post from Zuckerberg:

Zuck

Photo: Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO. (Kirstina Sangsahachart/Daily News)

 

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  • Louis Morrone Sr.

    Why can’t a private company do what it wants? Have you ever listened to the fascist right wing cable news or radio wackos? Are they jealous of Facebooks success? I doubt Facebook is guilty of these accusations, but the right doesn’t believe it is wrong to do what it is accusing it of doing, it is jealous and wants to do the same if it could only be capable of it, which it isn’t because they aren’t intelligent enough to be so successful.

 
 
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