Zuckerberg Confronts Alleged Conservative Bias

He'd like to meet with conservative leaders to hear their POVs
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2016 1:05 AM CDT
Zuckerberg Wants to Talk to Conservative Leaders
Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote address at the F8 Facebook Developer Conference in San Francisco last month.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

When conservative leaders are finished feuding over Donald Trump's candidacy, Mark Zuckerberg would like a chat. In a Facebook post on Thursday, the CEO addressed reports that journalists working on the site's "Trending Topics" feature had buried news that would interest conservatives, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. "We have rigorous guidelines that do not permit the prioritization of one viewpoint over another or the suppression of political perspectives," Zuckerberg wrote, adding that while Facebook had found "no evidence that this report is true," he will be "inviting leading conservatives and people from across the political spectrum to talk with me about this and share their points of view."

Zuckerberg said he wants to have a "direct conversation about what Facebook stands for and how we can be sure our platform stays as open as possible." Facebook also released an overview Thursday explaining how stories for Trending Topics are chosen by an algorithm and then confirmed by workers using a set of guidelines and a list of 1,000 media outlets—including this one. Topics are "injected" to make sure descriptions are accurate, but this tool is "not used to promote articles or topics from a particular perspective," Facebook says. The Guardian, however, notes that the guidelines allow curators to inject topics they consider newsworthy, as long as they've been picked up by the algorithm, and conservative outlets are continuing to accuse the site of bias. (This columnist thinks it's time to start worrying about Facebook.)

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