Facebook’s trending news section was being managed by a staff full of liberal employees, according to The Daily Caller. Previously, Facebook’s trending news section was accused of censoring conservative news. Following the accusation, the social networking giant fired the 15 to 18 employees who worked on it in an attempt to replace any possibility of partiality with an algorithm.
Facebook’s trending section team is biased
In May, Gizmodo reported that Facebook’s “news curators” hid conservative stories. As a result, Republican South Dakota Sen. John Thune sent a letter to the company inquiring about its trending news section. Thune noted in his letter that any attempt by a neutral and inclusive social media site to criticize or manipulate political discussion is not only inconsistent with the values of an open Internet but also an abuse of trust.
Facebook denied all the charges and claimed that it had a staff with diverse opinions. Facebook’s general counsel wrote in a letter to Thune that diversity in all forms, including ideological, is one of their core values, and they believe that adding voices to the conversation creates a more vibrant and richer community.
However, research about Facebook’s trending team that was provided to The Daily Caller by the investigative group Wesearchr found little diversity on the news curating team. Researchers found that the team supported Black Lives Matter, bashed Donald Trump and said that “hateful actions, contrary to popular thought, are not protected by ‘free speech.’”
Facebook algorithms are flawed
Last week, the social media giant announced that it made the news list more automated by removing article descriptions and depending more on algorithms to produce it. Despite the changes, a fake news story on Fox News commentator Megyn Kelly’s supposed mysterious affinity to Hillary Clinton went viral on the social media giant. The fake news story made it to the top of the trending list.
Facebook’s engineers or the algorithms created by them failed to realize that the story was false, notes The Verge. Over a single weekend, the tech giant’s attempts to reposition its prominent news product backfired in a huge way, exposing a central vulnerability in its approach to depend more on algorithms for the news.
On Tuesday, Facebook shares closed down 0.55% at $125.84. Year to date, the stock is up more than 18%, while in the last year, it is up more than 38%. The stock has a 52-week high of $128.33 and a 52-week low of $85.72.