So How Did Facebook Reportedly ‘Suppress’ Conservative News, Posts?
Recently, the Guardian Newspaper in England, Glenn Beck's The Blaze website, and other news sources, have uncovered information that appears to indicate that Facebook uses criteria that would suppress, or restrict, the number of people exposed to conservative news, information and topics.
When you're a business, organization, or group, when you post information, you can see a small line below the post that indicates how many people 'saw' or 'were served' this post. We at Newstalk870 have noticed the more comments and interaction on a topic, the more it gets shared. That snowballs, and often results in posts that go 'viral.' This works for pretty much any group or organization on the site. People as well.
The Guardian, citing leaked documents and information from a former Facebook editor, showed criteria used to judge the "shareworthiness" of stories. This former editor told Gizmodo,a technology blog, that editors used a set of criteria to 'manipulate' which topics received the most exposure.
That's why some items shared on Facebook do very well, others are barely seen. This is due to their criteria, and algorithms, which determine what's 'trendy, hip, and interesting.'
According to this information, editors were instructed to see if the information being posted was also being discussed on the following news outlets. This particular criteria applies to a national story or topic. They included:
- BBC News
- Fox News
- NBC News
- The New York Times
- USA Today
- Washington Post
- Wall Street Journal
and a handful of others. Aside from Fox News, it is generally accepted knowledge the bulk of these sites range from very to moderately liberal or progressive in their delivery of news. If the post topics were also being discussed on these sites, then the editors would allow more people to "see" the post, or served.
The editors also can "blacklist" or "inject" topics as well. Critics are accusing the social media network of relying on largely liberal media outlets to determine the importance of content, and also restricting the sharing of content that doesn't meet the previously mentioned national and even regional and local media criteria.
The social media giant was also accused, based upon information from the previous editor, of injecting specific stores into the Trending Topics portion of the site, to suppress conservative news and sites.
Facebook Justin Osofsky refuted these allegations, saying "the guidelines to not allow reviewers to add or suppress political perspectives."
He said they will continue to investigate policies and procedures to see if that is indeed happening, but they say it has not in the past.