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Former Facebook Workers: We Routinely Suppressed Conservative News

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posted on May, 9 2016 @ 01:28 PM
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No, this is not a FOX News story.

SOURCE


Facebook workers routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network’s influential “trending” news section, according to a former journalist who worked on the project. This individual says that workers prevented stories about the right-wing CPAC gathering, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, and other conservative topics from appearing in the highly-influential section, even though they were organically trending among the site’s users.

Several former Facebook “news curators,” as they were known internally, also told Gizmodo that they were instructed to artificially “inject” selected stories into the trending news module, even if they weren’t popular enough to warrant inclusion—or in some cases weren’t trending at all. The former curators, all of whom worked as contractors, also said they were directed not to include news about Facebook itself in the trending module.

In other words, Facebook’s news section operates like a traditional newsroom, reflecting the biases of its workers and the institutional imperatives of the corporation. Imposing human editorial values onto the lists of topics an algorithm spits out is by no means a bad thing—but it is in stark contrast to the company’s claims that the trending module simply lists “topics that have recently become popular on Facebook.”


My bolds of course. I want to begin by stating that I have never had a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other form of social media. I personally never thought that Facebook was the amazing innovation of our time. I much preferred the internet of the 90s and early 2000s when the only people that were capable of contributing content were the people who knew how to operate a computer effectively. In other words, the average person who wasn't motivated enough to learn the technology and how to use it would never be able to contribute content to the internet. I miss the mentality everyone used to have where they wanted to create their own realities and their own communities by learning code to create their own websites and message boards and not giving into the complacency of a centralized media source. ATS is the closest thing I have to social media and for now I am going to keep it that way.


These new allegations emerged after Gizmodo last week revealed details about the inner workings of Facebook’s trending news team—a small group of young journalists, primarily educated at Ivy League or private East Coast universities, who curate the “trending” module on the upper-right-hand corner of the site. As we reported last week, curators have access to a ranked list of trending topics surfaced by Facebook’s algorithm, which prioritizes the stories that should be shown to Facebook users in the trending section. The curators write headlines and summaries of each topic, and include links to news sites. The section, which launched in 2014, constitutes some of the most powerful real estate on the internet and helps dictate what news Facebook’s users—167 million in the US alone—are reading at any given moment.



“Depending on who was on shift, things would be blacklisted or trending,” said the former curator. This individual asked to remain anonymous, citing fear of retribution from the company. The former curator is politically conservative, one of a very small handful of curators with such views on the trending team. “I’d come on shift and I’d discover that CPAC or Mitt Romney or Glenn Beck or popular conservative topics wouldn’t be trending because either the curator didn’t recognize the news topic or it was like they had a bias against Ted Cruz.”

The former curator was so troubled by the omissions that they kept a running log of them at the time; this individual provided the notes to Gizmodo. Among the deep-sixed or suppressed topics on the list: former IRS official Lois Lerner, who was accused by Republicans of inappropriately scrutinizing conservative groups; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; popular conservative news aggregator the Drudge Report; Chris Kyle, the former Navy SEAL who was murdered in 2013; and former Fox News contributor Steven Crowder. “I believe it had a chilling effect on conservative news,” the former curator said.


Now I did not make this thread to call into question or invoke a discussion on whether or not Conservatism or Liberalism or any other political ideology is correct, or why you think it's correct. I created this thread to discuss the implications of censorship in the news media. Facebook has now fully integrated itself into the Mainstream News and I have to say after reading this article I am really not the least bit surprised to hear they have intentionally filtered out specific news stories. I believe that Facebook and many other Silicon Valley tech companies have had a long invested interest in propagating leftist ideology, for no other reason than because these companies have the misconception that their businesses will thrive more with a Democrat in the WH or a Democratic majority in the House & Senate. I'm sure many political institutions have made their contributions to these tech companies with the expectation that they will manipulate some of their content for their agenda. And I have no doubt that many tech companies have also made campaign contributions with the expectation that subject politicians will return the favor in the form of legislation or executive order.

This is why I am grateful to be a part of the ATS community. This community is special, and most people here have eyes and ears for disinformation and a passion to share it with the rest of us. Censorship of the media in any shape or form should be condemned by society. We have a responsibility to ourselves and to the many media outlets across the globe to stand up and call BS when we see it. Even if you dislike Romney, or Ryan, or Glen Beck (the examples used in the article) I would like to think that most of us here at ATS would condemn this behavior, from any nation or any company anywhere anytime.

What are your thoughts?



+19 more 
posted on May, 9 2016 @ 01:35 PM
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One of the headlines they continually pushed even though it was not trending: Black Lives Matters.




posted on May, 9 2016 @ 01:40 PM
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Zuckerberg is a well known Liberal and he can run his billion dollar business how he sees fit...

Just like Trump is a well known RINO and can run on his billion dollar platform as he sees fit.




And Tracebook is a cesspit filled will Republican & Democratic cretins...

Far more of both than level headed centrists.


There is no bias, just division.
edit on 9-5-2016 by Hazardous1408 because: Spelling.


+11 more 
posted on May, 9 2016 @ 01:42 PM
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a reply to: ColdWisdom

I think we all knew that Facebook was pushing a liberal agenda, but I didn't realize they were actively suppressing the opposition. It just goes to show you can' trust social media (I don't have it or use it).



posted on May, 9 2016 @ 01:45 PM
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originally posted by: Hazardous1408
Zuckerberg is a well known Liberal and he can run his billion dollar business hoe he sees fit...

Just like Trump is a well known RINO and can run on his billion dollar platform as he sees fit.




And Tracebook is a cesspit filled will Republican & Democratic cretins...

Far more of both than level headed centrists.


There is no bias, just division.


Agreed for better or worse this is accurate!


+3 more 
posted on May, 9 2016 @ 01:47 PM
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a reply to: Hazardous1408



And Tracebook is a cesspit filled will Republican & Democratic cretins... Far more of both than level headed centrists.


I have never found centrists to be 'level headed'. They just tend to take dogma from the two existing failed perspectives and reconstitute it as something new. You still end up with garbage except now it is lacking any passion or conviction.



posted on May, 9 2016 @ 01:48 PM
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Cheers to everybody that refuses to use social media!



posted on May, 9 2016 @ 01:52 PM
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a reply to: Metallicus

I never said all centrists are level headed...

But they're more level headed than the far right and far left Betas on Tracebook.



posted on May, 9 2016 @ 01:53 PM
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a reply to: ManBehindTheMask

Sadly it's the case, I even see the division among my own friends.

Real friends who I've grown up with/been brought up by all on far ends of the spectrum.


I see ATS heading down a similar destructive path, but I still won't give up on it, like I won't give up on them.




posted on May, 9 2016 @ 01:59 PM
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the same can be said of any major news corp. facebook has millions of readers, they push their agenda the same way cnn or fox or nbc pick and choose what to "make" news.



posted on May, 9 2016 @ 02:39 PM
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a reply to: Hazardous1408

What about far left alpha females?


I don't buy this story though, not with zero proof.



posted on May, 9 2016 @ 02:43 PM
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a reply to: Kali74



Well neither do I really, it's why I stated there is no bias on Facebook...

I've seen conservative views pushed by millions on the site every day.

I've seen the other side do it aswell...



The only people who think it's liberally slanted have probably never been on their...

They'd have a field day especially with the stories the ATS Facebook page shares.

edit on 9-5-2016 by Hazardous1408 because: Spelling.



posted on May, 9 2016 @ 02:53 PM
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Facebook is such a scam, once they blocked my account, the reason, because I was adding too many friends.. wtf.


+1 more 
posted on May, 9 2016 @ 02:54 PM
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a reply to: Hazardous1408

The story wasn't talking about what individuals facebook users themselves choose to push but what the site itself runs in its newsfeeds.

If the site claims that it uses an algorithm to choose those items that are trending most among its users, then the pure numbers should pick what items are one that newsfeed from the site itself, but according to the contractors, human bias edited what items the algorithm chose meaning it was not pure numbers.

The impression that can be given by doing this is that more people than actually are are pushing liberal slanted news and views when the conservative stuff is suppressed.



posted on May, 9 2016 @ 03:00 PM
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yet have taken millions from the conservative party.
also google do.
if you're using google.co.uk with suggestions on start typing conservatives are and see the suggestions, then type labour are....



posted on May, 9 2016 @ 03:05 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko


Well I just went to Facebook Newsfeed to validate the story and every article is about improvements or upcoming suggestions for Facebook Newsfeed...


Nothing liberal or conservative.


I ask anyone to go a check this for themselves.



edit on 9-5-2016 by Hazardous1408 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 9 2016 @ 03:09 PM
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originally posted by: stinkelbaum
yet have taken millions from the conservative party.
also google do.
if you're using google.co.uk with suggestions on start typing conservatives are and see the suggestions, then type labour are....


The Conservative Party? Which on is that? I've never heard of it.



posted on May, 9 2016 @ 03:11 PM
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a reply to: Hazardous1408

Is that like saying, "It's a 110 degrees outside, so there MUST be global warming?"



posted on May, 9 2016 @ 03:11 PM
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originally posted by: ketsuko

originally posted by: stinkelbaum
yet have taken millions from the conservative party.
also google do.
if you're using google.co.uk with suggestions on start typing conservatives are and see the suggestions, then type labour are....


The Conservative Party? Which on is that? I've never heard of it.


There are political parties outside of the US you know, does our small island really go that unnoticed?



posted on May, 9 2016 @ 03:12 PM
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a reply to: stinkelbaum


yet have taken millions from the conservative party.
also google do.
if you're using google.co.uk with suggestions on start typing conservatives are and see the suggestions, then type labour are...


Of course they will take anybody's money to publish advertisements. Why wouldn't they?

The article isn't referring to suppressing advertisements with a bias, but distorting their own algorithms to select what shows up in your news feed.

As has been stated, FB has made it publicly known many times that their bread & butter for their online news is their algorithms which are supposed to select content for your news feed based on your profile statistics.
edit on 5/9/2016 by ColdWisdom because: (no reason given)



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