>> Facebook in damage control mode Tuesday, denying a damning report by Gizmodo in which a former Facebook staffer claimed the team behind the Trending Topics list routinely suppressed stories with politically conservative themes. Facebook's head of Trending Topics posting a lengthy rebuttal Monday night, saying there is no evidence that the anonymous accusations are true.
And that rigorous guidelines are in place to ensure neutrality among stories, which he says are selected by an algorithm. Reuters' social media reporter Amy Tennery is following the story.>> So essentially there's an algorithm that determines the top trending topics on Facebook and then a group of people review those topics and make sure they’re relevant to what's actually trending in the larger world
>> A Facebook spokesperson told me that after an initial review, they found zero evidence of any kind of suppression of conservative news topics in their trending feed.>> But the rancor had already spread across the conservative and media landscape. The Drudge Report running a photo of Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg with the headline, Not Leaning In, Leaning Left.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald Tweeting, this is a key reminder of the dangers of Silicon Valley controlling content. And a Columbia Journalism School professor tossing out this food for thought in a Tweet, algorithms are never neutral. Ever. With Facebook providing one of the countries most read news streams, the debate may rage on despite the company's denial.
And despite the fact that Mark Zuckerberg did once hold a fundraiser for New Jersey's Republican Governor, Chris Christie, back in 2013.