MEMBERS ONLY: Why Facebook is Wrong (and Right) to Suppress Conservative Stories

News broke this week that the Facebook trending news team block news stories that could be of interest to conservative readers -- a revelation that undermines Facebook's reputation as an unbiased social network that disseminates content according to user preference. Was Facebook wrong to do this? No, and yes.
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Ben Cohen
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News broke this week that the Facebook trending news team block news stories that could be of interest to conservative readers -- a revelation that undermines Facebook's reputation as an unbiased social network that disseminates content according to user preference. Was Facebook wrong to do this? No, and yes.

News broke this week that the Facebook trending news team block news stories that could be of interest to conservative readers -- a revelation that undermines Facebook's reputation as an unbiased social network that adapts to what people are interested in, then disseminates content according to user preference. 

If true, conservatives will no doubt find this outrageous. There are also several different ways of looking at this that make the morality of it less clear, particularly given the state of conservative news in America. But does the issue of Facebook's damaged integrity as a neutral, user generated platform trump all? 

To answer this question, it is important to understand just how important Facebook is to how the majority to politically active people digest their news. 

You have most likely arrived at this article from your Facebook feed -- either because you have liked our Facebook page and see our articles on a daily basis, someone you know shared the article, or you saw it on Facebook's "trending" news section. 

You also most likely get most of your news from Facebook as the social networking platform is basically becoming the internet -- or as Columbia University's director of Digital Journalism put it, "eating the world"

Basically, Facebook now has the power to radically influence the way you see the world, and as an unaccountable private corporation, you only have a limited way of influencing how it operates. 

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