A report was released on May 9 on Gizmodo that said Facebook’s Trending Topics team was suppressing conservative news stories from appearing on the influential sidebar of the social network. In this report, content that regards the likes of Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, murdered Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, Scott Walker and other conservative issues are not being shown under Trending Topics despite the prominence of the topics in discussions across social media, thereby affecting its tending status.
It was also said to Gizmodo writers that the allegation that Facebook will occasionally inject stories that aren’t trending into Trending Topics to give them wider visibility. Supposedly, instead of allowing stories that are actually trending to reach the homepage, there was a manual process of selection by Facebook to amplify posts on the sidebar.
Because this news came out against Facebook, the company had no choice but to respond. Tom Stocky, the VP of search at Facebook, addressed the allegations on his Facebook page.
Stocky began, “We take these reports extremely seriously, and have found no evidence that the anonymous allegations are true.”
Stocky says that from Facebook’s perspective, it’s important that they maintain “consistency and neutrality.” Below is the full text of Stocky’s response: