According to the Frequently Asked Questions on the Facebook (FB) website, “Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.”
Is Facebook living by its mission statement?
Gizmodo posted a YouTube video stating, “Facebook workers routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network’s influential ‘trending’ news section, according to a former journalist who worked on the project.” Watch the Gizmodo video expose to learn more:
I recently posted a column titled FACEBOOK: You have been temporarily blocked from performing this action! Since the beginning of the presidential primary season Facebook has repeatedly blocked me from posting on pages that have given me permission to do so. I wrote, “Facebook and/or some individuals are using this administrative tool to block conservative citizen journalists, like myself, from posting links to articles they disagree with.” It appears my fears are true.
Gizmodo’s Michael Nunez reports:
Facebook workers routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network’s influential “trending” news section, according to a former journalist who worked on the project.
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In other words, Facebook’s news section operates like a traditional newsroom, reflecting the biases of its workers and the institutional imperatives of the corporation. Imposing human editorial values onto the lists of topics an algorithm spits out is by no means a bad thing—but it is in stark contrast to the company’s claims that the trending module simply lists “topics that have recently become popular on Facebook.”
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“Depending on who was on shift, things would be blacklisted or trending,” said the former curator.
Facebook is using all of its tools to stop those who post news stories that it disagrees with. From using the temporary blocking tool to actually blacklisting certain news stories of a conservative nature.
Perhaps the Facebook founders, senior leaders and workers need to read their own mission statement. To discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to us requires an open platform. One based upon the ideal of freedom of expression.
Time to return the power “to share and make the world more open” to the people, who are Facebook.