A former curator of Facebook's "trending news" feature says employees often deliberately kept conservative news out of the spotlight, reports Gizmodo. “Depending on who was on shift, things would be blacklisted or trending,” says the anonymous ex-employee. For example, stories about the IRS' Lois Lerner scandal, CPAC, or topics from the Drudge Report or other conservative outlets wouldn't make the cut, even if they were clearly popular online. As a previous Gizmodo story explained, Facebook has a team of young journalists who provide human oversight to the company's news algorithm and help select which headlines qualify as "trending" in the upper right corner of Facebook pages.
“I believe it had a chilling effect on conservative news,” the ex-employee says. The Guardian calls it a "bombshell confession," one that has set off a flurry of interest on the right. Drudge, for example, gave the story prominent play alongside a photo of Facebook exec Sheryl Sandberg with the headline, "Not Leaning In ... Leaning Left!” And the conservative Washington Examiner, calling Facebook the "King of News" for smartphones, says the practice could have a "huge and negative impact" on conservative media. (Read more Facebook stories.)