It came to light on Monday that the “trending now” stories on Facebook may be a little more doctored than users realized. A former Facebook contract worker revealed that “news curators” that manage this aspect of Facebook regularly and purposely ignored stories that were deemed “too conservative,” and gave more credit to those stories that certain curators wanted to bring attention to, such as #BlackLivesMatter. The issue was reported by tech blog Gizmodo in an article citing the former Facebook contract employee and his allegations that the social media company had its own agenda in determining which stories were “trending now.”
While much of the media slants to the left, most outlets do not deny it and users are aware of biases. Facebook, however, has been claiming neutrality in the trending news stories that are reported, letting users assume that no major biases affect which stories are selected. If the former employee’s claims are true, Facebook has been taking advantage of its power and influence to advance beliefs held by the company, while withholding legitimate news stories from its users. Politicians, users, and news media alike are calling for Facebook to reveal its criterion used in selecting its stories for this section.