Facebook has issued a lengthy denial of reports that its news curation team discriminates against conservative news stories in its “trending news” feature, which is supposed to provide users with a list of the most popular news stories across the social network.
This followed a number of damning reports from anonymous sources within the company’s news curation team, who alleged to Gizmodo that the site regularly suppressed links from conservative news sources, including Breitbart News.
The sources also claimed that the site artificially promoted stories about Black Lives Matter, a progressive cause favoured by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Furthermore, the sources told Gizmodo that Facebook regularly suppressed stories about the company itself.
Now Facebook is denying everything. In a lengthy post on his personal account, Facebook VP Tom Stocky cast doubt on the claims made by Gizmodo’s sources. Stocky specifically denied allegations that stories of interest to conservatives were suppressed, and that stories about Black Lives Matter were artificially promoted.
However, Stocky also confirmed that the Trending Topics feature doesn’t merely display what’s popular. According to Stocky, curators are “instructed to disregard junk or duplicate topics, hoaxes, or subjects with insufficient sources.”