Facebook was trending yesterday following a report which revealed inside information about the social media giant censoring controversial news for its trending section. A journalist who was working on the news project spilled the beans on how Facebook does not allow any controversial news to go up on the trending section, Gizmodo reported. The individual further said that stories about the right-wing CPAC gathering, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul and similar conservative topics were not allowed on the trending section even though they had been organically trending on the site. Also Read - Facebook smartwatch to feature cameras alongside fitness functions: Yes, detachable cameras!Also Read - What happens to your Facebook account after you die?
The outlet also revealed that many curators were directed to publish specific stories even though they did not garner much attention or were not trending at all. This was a big setback for the company as it created speculation that the company could be like just any other media house controlling what news goes out. However, Facebook has denied allegations of censoring news. Also Read - WhatsApp Multi-device support confirmed, public beta rollout begins in two months: Mark Zuckerberg
Tom Stocky, who leads the trending section inside Facebook, refuted the allegations in a Facebook post. We take these reports extremely seriously, and have found no evidence that the anonymous allegations are true, he wrote. There are rigorous guidelines in place for the review team to ensure consistency and neutrality. These guidelines do not permit the suppression of political perspectives. Nor do they permit the prioritization of one viewpoint over another or one news outlet over another. These guidelines do not prohibit any news outlet from appearing in Trending Topics, Stocky added.
While he claims that Facebook does not manipulate the stories that go up on the trending section, it will take more than a post to convince its 1.65 billion users about their unbiased selection of trending news.