The headlines, at least the ones not controlled by Facebook, have recently featured the emerging news that Facebook suppresses what they call conservative news. Former employees of Facebook said recently that they regularly monitored what headlines were considered trending on the world’s largest social media platform. With 1.6 billion users (New York Times), Facebook has impacted the way we receive our news more than almost any technology of our time.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (Rawstory)
According to a Pew Study, 63 percent of Facebook’s 1.6 billion users consider the site to be a source for news. The “trending” section of a user’s Facebook news feed highlights headlines and stories that are popular, breaking news, or becoming major reports. Every user sees the trending section at the top of the news feed, and every time someone makes a post about a trending topic, the post is labelled “trending”. So if 63 percent of 1.6 billion users, 1,008,000,000 users of Facebook, find it to be a major source of news then shouldn’t Facebook be held to some form of reporting integrity?
One of the major problems is that we don’t know what decides whether or not a story picks up traction on social media. Well, we didn’t exactly know until now. For myself, I always assumed it had something to do with the amount of related posts within a time period. This may be a part of it, but human bias is playing a huge role. Facebook does have the right to make whatever kind of influence it desires. But is it acceptable to take advantage of their popularity to skew the information that voters receive? These kinds of actions are just as bad, if not worse, than big business paying off politicians. The difference is, Facebook is making an effort to decide the election for us. It doesn’t seem right morally, or fair to the American people who just want to make the best decision for themselves.