Facebook Search VP totally denies news bias in “Trending” story selection

The social media giant’s VP of Search, Tom Stocky, posted this evening to more fully respond to a Gizmodo story charging that Facebook news curators routinely keep right-leaning political stories out of the news Trending Topics box. Here are the important bits:

• “We . . . have found no evidence that the anonymous allegations are true.”

• “There are rigorous guidelines in place for the review team to ensure consistency and neutrality. These guidelines do not permit the suppression of political perspectives.” 

• “Popular topics are first surfaced by an algorithm, then audited by review team members to confirm that the topics are in fact trending news.”

• “Reviewers are required to accept topics that reflect real world events, and are instructed to disregard junk . . .”

• “There have been other anonymous allegations — for instance that we artificially forced ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ to trend. We looked into that charge and found that it is untrue.”