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'Trending Topics' row: Zuckerberg to meet conservative leaders

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  17 May 2016 12:00 AM GMT

Washington, May 16: Accused of an editorial bias against conservative news organisations in its popular “Trending Topics”, the social media giant Facebook has invited conservative leaders, including outspoken media persolity Glenn Beck, to meet CEO Mark Zuckerberg this week. According to Tech Insider, the meeting is scheduled to take place at Facebook’s Silicon Valley headquarters.

“They [Facebook] have had the same problem that many in media and Silicon Valley face: Suppression of conservative voices and ideas,” Beck posted on his Facebook page.

“It would be interesting to look him [Zuckerberg] in the eye as he explains and a win for all voices if we can come to a place of real trust with this powerful tool,” Beck added in the post.

A report in technology website Gizmodo last week accused Facebook of an editorial bias against conservative news organisations which led to a call for a congressiol inquiry from setor John Thune (Rep) from South Dakota and the chair of US Sete commerce committee which has jurisdiction over media issues.

The panel also sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, asking for answers related to the “Trending Topics” row.

Defending “Trending Topics”, Justin Osofsky, Facebook vice president for global operations, posted last week: “We take these reports very seriously and will continue to investigate the allegations. We have found no evidence to date that ‘Trending Topics’ was successfully manipulated but will continue the review of all our practices”.

“The guidelines do not permit the suppression of political perspectives. About 40 percent of the topics in the queue get rejected by the reviewers because they reflect what is considered ‘noise’ — a random word or me that lots of people are using in lots of different ways,” Osofsky said, adding that this tool is not used to suppress or remove articles or topics from a particular perspective.

“Trending Topics” was launched in 2014 to surface major conversations happening on Facebook. (IANS)

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