Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Facebooking the Facts

It's no surprise at all:

"When the Facebook trend is not our friend" by Hiawatha Bray Globe Staff  May 11, 2016

In 2014, the social network Facebook ran a controversial secret experiment that tried to change its users’ emotions. Now a startling report from the tech website Gizmodo suggests that company employees are secretly trying to change our opinions.

Facebook denies the whole creepy story, but true or not, it’s still an alarm ringing in the night. We were told that cool, dispassionate computers select what a billion people see every day on Facebook. If even a small part of it is really being done by humans with axes to grind, watch out.

I call it a newspaper, and none came today.

The website interviewed several people hired to curate or review stories before including them in Trending Topics, a feature that shows news stories popular among Facebook users.

The sources, who insisted on anonymity, claimed that some curators rejected stories from right-of-center news sources. If a popular story originated at a conservative site like or, it would be ignored unless it also appeared on a “mainstream” site like CNN or The New York Times.

The workers told Gizmodo the policy wasn’t ordered by Facebook management; it just reflected the attitudes of the curation team....

It's so nice that the ma$$ media here has self-internalized the values of its owners.


No, definitely not seen as a friend in any way, shape, or form anymore.


Six Zionist Companies Own 96% of the World's Media
Declassified: Massive Israeli manipulation of US media exposed
Operation Mockingbird

Why Am I No Longer Reading the Newspaper?

Sorry to be so sour on all this. Just facing facts.

"Facebook leak suggests no systematic bias" by Hiawatha Bray Globe Staff  May 13, 2016

Human judgment, not just software, plays a major role in choosing the news stories that appear on the social network Facebook, according to documents leaked to the British newspaper the Guardian. But the same documents offer no evidence to support controversial claims that
Facebook’s news coverage is deliberately biased against conservative political views. 

As far as the false dichotomy goes, yup. 

That's been happening for decades. The ma$$ media is nothing but agenda-pushing corporate liberalism.

The documents show that humans are deeply involved in editing the stories on Facebook’s Trending Topics feature, which is supposed to show the news stories that are most popular among Facebook users. But the editing process described in the document mainly involves mundane tasks, like checking the spellings of sports team names or choosing family-friendly “PG-13” images to illustrate stories.

Tell me about it.

When editing the “national news” section, editors are told to choose trending stories that are getting prominent coverage at five of 10 major news sites, ranging from the New York Times and CNN to the Wall Street Journal and Fox News. In addition, Facebook provided the Guardian with a second list of 1,000 news sites it considers trustworthy. The list includes major conservative websites like the Daily Caller, Redstate, and National Review.

Earlier this week, the website Gizmodo published a story in which unnamed Facebook employees claimed some of their colleagues deliberately ignored news stories by conservative sites unless they also appeared on websites that they considered “mainstream,” such as CNN or the New York Times.

The Gizmodo story also said that editors sometimes inserted stories that weren’t actually trending, but which in their view deserved more play. The Guardian reported on Thursday that it had spoken to three former Facebook editors who also said that they had done this. 

I need to do a much better job of that rather than slopping out this swill that I have been.

Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s vice president of global operations, issued a statement saying that the leaked documents — which the company later posted on its website — vindicated his company’s policies for publishing news. “The guidelines demonstrate that we have a series of checks and balances in place to help surface the most important popular stories, regardless of where they fall on the ideological spectrum,” Osofsky said. “Facebook does not allow or advise our reviewers to systematically discriminate against sources of any political origin, period.”

John Wihbey, assistant professor of journalism and new media at Northeastern University, said that the document seems to indicate that Facebook is playing it straight in its news coverage. “It basically shows that they do have a strategy,” he said. “They do have some checks in there.”

But Wihbey said that because Facebook has over a billion users worldwide, and has become one of the world’s leading news sources, the company has a responsibility to be transparent about how it chooses stories. “What’s too bad is that they didn’t get out in front of this,” he said. “This is the kind of document, in slightly cleaned-up and succinct form, that you’d love to see them make open to the public and post on their site for comment and for refinement.”

Wouldn't matter. I no longer trust anything I see or read in the ma$$ media anyway. It's either a distortion or outright lie serving some ulterior motive.


That's not the first time he's flipped so fast.

UPDATE: Facebook admits ‘problem’ reaching conservatives, attendee says