Confirmed: Facebook now filters out left news from user feeds while leaving right untouched

SKWAWKBOX (SW) By SKWAWKBOX (SW)19

Social media platform censors left-wing news publishers and relaxed fact-checking standards for right-wing pages

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Revelations in the Wall Street Journal have confirmed what the SKWAWKBOX reported in 2017 and 2018: that Facebook knowingly biased its news algorithms against left-wing news sites in order to reduce their visibility in its users feeds and the amount of traffic sent to them from the social media platform.

The WSJ reports that Facebook bosses were worried that they would be accused of bias against right-wing sites (hardly a surprise, since right-wingers claim that even the Tory-run BBC News is too left-wing). So, in changes approved by Mark Zuckerberg, the platform updated its processes to hit left-wing sites hardest.

On Facebook Banning Anarchist And Antifascist Pages and The Digital Censorship To Come

PeterGelderloos@PeterGelderloos·Aug 19Gotta love our racist, Centrist overlords. F-book shut down pages of a few right-wing militias who have shot multiple people, and anarchist news sites like @IGD_News and @crimethinc, which share news articles, promote organizing against fascists or evictions, don’t murder ppl.

A Facebook spokesperson did not deny that the changes had been designed to affect left-wing sites more, but simply said no individual publisher had been targeted.

Covering the changes, Gizmodo has reported that Facebook’s more recent conduct had also been designed to let right-wing sites report fake news while censoring left-wing publishers’ valid information:

Facebook’s been caught coddling right-leaning outlets and pages several times in the company’s bid to appear unbiased, lest it set off the frothing conservative mob out for its head over baseless claims of anti-conservative censorship.

In August, a Buzzfeed exposé detailed how one Facebook employee was allegedly fired after collecting evidence of the company giving preferential treatment to right-wing pages. Internal company documents leaked to NBC also showed that Facebook relaxed its fact-checking standards for conservative news outlets and personalities, including Breitbart and former Fox News stooges Diamond and Silk, so that they wouldn’t be penalized for spreading misinformation… stymieing coverage from legitimate outlets while simultaneously failing to keep dangerous conspiracy theories and misinformation from running amok.

(Emphases added)

This lopsided treatment appears to have continued: SKWAWKBOX readers have reported posts they have shared disappearing from their newsfeeds, ‘see first’ settings disappearing in spite of repeated attempts to prioritise the page’s updates and other anomalies when they try to view or share news.

It seems what left-wingers have said for years about Facebook and its unequal treatment of left news publishers has been confirmed.

Interested in helping SKWAWKBOX and other left publishers overcome this targeting? Drop a note in the comments.

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