Facebook suppressed Rand Paul

You may have noticed recent news that Facebook routinely suppressed items of interest to conservatives in their “trending” topics section. Surprise, surprise…It turns out “Rand Paul” was one of the topics they suppressed. *Scroll down to the bottom of this post for some breaking news. The Senate is going to hold hearings…

Facebook workers routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network’s influential “trending” news section, according to a former journalist who worked on the project. This individual says that workers prevented stories about the right-wing CPAC gathering, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, and other conservative topics from appearing in the highly-influential section, even though they were organically trending among the site’s users.

What do you bet this story won’t be trending on Facebook? Let’s take a look. (Twitter trending items are on the left, Facebook on the right.)

That same curator said the Black Lives Matter movement was also injected into Facebook’s trending news module. “Facebook got a lot of pressure about not having a trending topic for Black Lives Matter,” the individual said. “They realized it was a problem, and they boosted it in the ordering. They gave it preference over other topics. When we injected it, everyone started saying, ‘Yeah, now I’m seeing it as number one’.” This particular injection is especially noteworthy because the #BlackLivesMatter movement originated on Facebook, and the ensuing media coverage of the movement often noted its powerful social media presence.

Hopefully, more whistleblowers will come forward with details and a time frame. We reached out to the author of the story for more details.

As of 3:00pm ET 5/10 there are some new developments on this story:

The author of the original story is sticking by his sources despite denials from Facebook.

Facebook has put out two denials of the story.


UPDATE: This is Aaron, founder of the blog you are reading. Thank you all so much for sharing this article. I came in from a walk outside and this post has exploded from you guys sharing it on Twitter. It’s gone from 40-500+ ‘likes’ in about 2 hours! Please keep sharing it—I think it’s important for normal folks to know not to trust the news they happen to see on Facebook!

We’ve been around since 2007 when I started supporting Ron Paul. Our blog really got going during the next 2012 presidential run. I’m aiming to focus on civil liberties issues and more local elections this year on our site. We do political activism training and writing on these topics. You can help us out by donating your own chosen amount to ‘purchase’ an album of folk/gospel music I’ve thrown together. Thanks so much. Enjoy:

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