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Facebook says it doesn't permit censorship in Trending Topics

Posted by Steve Schram on May 10, 2016 at 10:52 AM

Originally published on May 9, 2016 on The Verge by Nick Statt.

Facebook has responded to allegations in a Gizmodo report that its contract news curators actively censored stories from conservative publications when selecting which items appear in its Trending Topics section. In a statement given to The Verge, the company does not actively deny that members of its news operation were censoring stories from right-wing outlets like Breitbart and The Drudge Report. However, a Facebook spokesperson did say the company does not "permit the suppression of political perspectives" and has never banned a news outlet from appearing in the Trending Topics bar.

"We take allegations of bias very seriously. Facebook is a platform for people and perspectives from across the political spectrum," reads the statement, which was first published by BuzzFeed News. "There are rigorous guidelines in place for the review team to ensure consistency and neutrality. These guidelines do not permit the suppression of political perspectives. Nor do they permit the prioritization of one viewpoint over another or one news outlet over another. The guidelines do not prohibit any news outlet from appearing in Trending Topics."

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