Though it may not be thrilling to admit that Facebook’s ‘Trending’ page takes precedence over traditional news outlets for a large percentage of the population, it is the reality of today’s times. Pew Research has even reported that millennials use the social media service as their top source for political information. And we would expect Facebook to keep citizens informed accurately.
Recently, a former Facebook employee has made claims that the company may have prevented multiple stories that conservatives would find informative from appearing on the ‘Trending’ section of the website, one of which being the IRS targeting scandal involving the agency’s former director Lois Lerner. Considering Facebook’s liberal record on the issues (2nd Vote score of 1.3), it is not surprising that there is speculation that company employees have been censoring information that would be of interest to conservative viewers.
In terms of gathering daily news from the ‘Trending’ page, conservatives of course would have stayed informed on the Lerner case, as they would have been seeking the information, but anyone who fell into more of a moderate or liberal category would have been out of the loop. Imagine how many issues may have been obscured along the way that did not meet a certain ‘liberal appeal.’
Facebook appears to be playing somewhat of a game with its users. Access to news that appeals to conservatives is being pushed further into the dark, while liberal content is pushed to the forefront.
Liberal outlets in traditional media have certainly pushed an agenda on the public for quite sometime, and it seems that Facebook is following suit. Instead of using its platform to help people make informed decisions about current issues, Facebook appears to be controlling the dissemination of topics to align news coverage with its own values.
To see a full background of where Facebook stands on all of the issues, click here.