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IN Science & Technology ON 12 May, 2016
The virtual world has always been intriguing to us in its ways. Since so much of it happens virtually, there is nothing like a definitive way of things in our minds. Facebook Inc. is now defending itself in one such case, where allegations are made against it to exclude politically conservative news stories from its Trending News corner.
It is being termed as a secretive hiding of the conservative news and that the American media is also being dominated by the ongoing of the 2016 U. S. Presidential elections. With all the virtual stuff, transparency is at stake, and we don't know if the news being presented to us is completely true, or is a bit doctored. Know these 5 things about Facebook's Trending News corner.
Facebook being charged with such an allegation only raises concerns over the truthfulness of the content presented to its audience at large. These things will clear the web a bit for us.
Gizmodo a tech-news website, published a story recently from a person identified as a former Facebook news curator. In the story, the person alleged that fellow curators kept some news bits from showing up in the Trending News. These were in relation to Republican politicians such as Mitt Romney and Rand Paul, and conservative news events like the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. The curator also revealed that trending stories related to Facebook were hidden by some non-trending topics around the world
Tom Stocky, who runs Facebook's Trending Topics team wrote a post on his own account that his team, "Found no evidence that the anonymous allegations are true." He continued by arguing, "a platform for people and perspectives from across the political spectrum." He also said that there were guidelines in place to ensure that any such biased ongoings would not take place, adding that the most trending topic of 2015 was the election.
It is a curated list derived from the user's discussions. While the list appears in desktop version on the top right corner of the screen, in the app it can be viewed by tapping on the search functionality, wherein it mixes recent searches with the trending news. Facebook Trending Topics were introduced in 2014.
Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota wrote a letter to Mark Zuckerberg, expressing, "With over a billion daily active users on average, Facebook has enormous influence on users' perceptions of current events, including political perspectives." The chairman of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, Mr. Thune, asked Mark to explain all about how the feature works, and what he is doing to investigate the allegations.
Facebook tweaks its News Feed once a year, and whenever that happens, we are left confused. These decisions are also termed as "filter bubbles". Facebook is at the receiving end of this allegation, but it is not the only one sorting the content to be displayed and to be hidden. Twitter, Instagram too have their algorithms to do so.
This question might be answered in the, again, most secretive way, as the process of investigation, if it exists, won't be made public, but only the conclusion will be.
So, share this story with your friends while you sit back and wait for the decision anyway!