Facebook executive denies allegations of anti-conservative censorship

Tom Stocky (left) says allegations of anti-conservative bias are untrue
(Image credit: Stephen Lam/Getty Images)

On Monday, the tech site Gizmodo caused quite a stir with an article alleging anti-conservative political manipulation at Facebook's Trending Topics feature, citing unidentified former Facebook employees. Late Monday, Tom Stocky, the Facebook vice president who oversees the Trending Topics team, hit back in a Facebook post. "We take these reports extremely seriously, and have found no evidence that the anonymous allegations are true," he wrote. He referred to the anonymous former team members as "Facebook contractors," and said that what they alleged to have done is implausible, if not impossible:

We have in place strict guidelines for our trending topic reviewers as they audit topics surfaced algorithmically: Reviewers are required to accept topics that reflect real world events, and are instructed to disregard junk or duplicate topics, hoaxes, or subjects with insufficient sources. Facebook does not allow or advise our reviewers to systematically discriminate against sources of any ideological origin and we've designed our tools to make that technically not feasible. At the same time, our reviewers' actions are logged and reviewed, and violating our guidelines is a fireable offense. [Stocky, Facebook]

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