A Facebook executive Tuesday denied allegations the social media platform has a liberal bias
, and that conservative news from sites like Breitbart and Newsmax are routinely blacklisted from the "trending topics" section.
In a lengthy Facebook
post, Tom Stocky, the company's vice president for search, writes executives "have found no evidence that the anonymous allegations are true." The charges were reported by Gizmodo on Monday.
"Facebook does not allow or advise our reviewers to systematically discriminate against sources of any ideological origin and we've designed our tools to make that technically not feasible," Stocky writes.
"At the same time, our reviewers' actions are logged and reviewed, and violating our guidelines is a fireable offense."
He also denied the charge the company had improved the ranking of a topic related to the Black Lives Matter movement on the "Trending" list even though the data did not support it. He called that portion of the story "untrue."
"We do not insert stories artificially into trending topics, and do not instruct our reviewers to do so," he said. "Our guidelines do permit reviewers to take steps to make topics more coherent, such as combining related topics into a single event … to deliver a more integrated experience."
The website is standing by the story, The Hill
In the wake of Monday's allegations, the Republican National Committee, urged supporters to "demand Facebook stop censoring conservatives."
"With 167 million U.S. Facebook users reading stories highlighted in the trending section, Facebook has the power to greatly influence the presidential election,"" the RNC
states on its website.
"It is beyond disturbing to learn that this power is being used to silence viewpoints and stories that don't fit someone else's agenda."
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