With a recent surge in censorship, big companies such as YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest have been blocking and censoring users and news under the guise of political correctness. Facebook is officially joining the club.
Facebook released details on Tuesday of their plan to put together a “small team” of “seasoned” journalists from various outlets to curate news as part of its News Tab mobile app. Facebook claims that the reporters won’t be “editing headlines, stories, writing content, etc.,” and users will be able to tell which articles have been curated.
Facebook hopes the changes to the current news system will change the way millions receive their news, as told to Axios.
Companies such as Bloomberg, ABC News, and The Washington Post will be paid $3 million to have their content featured on the app. The Washington Post reported that a test with 200,000 users will take place in October.
Campbell Brown, Facebook’s head of news partnerships, said in a statement:
“[the company’s] goal with the News Tab is to provide a personalized, highly relevant experience for people. The majority of stories people will see will appear in the tab via algorithmic selection. To start, for the Top News section of the tab we’re pulling together a small team of journalists to ensure we’re highlighting the right stories.”
Eric Schiffer, Chairman of Reputation Management Consultants, expressed his concerns to the Daily Caller News Foundation:
“When you have scenarios with Facebook, who is already considered bias, further controlling the news, there will be a great danger in the roll-out of that and to conservatives’ desire for a level playing field. You’re going to have many journalists who curse the sky because they’re going to get diminished access to the public.”
Last year, Facebook dismantled the “Trending Topics” feature after being accused of bias. “We learned a lot from Trending,” a Facebook executive told Axios. “This is a completely different product.”
Facebook hired former Republican Arizona Sen. John Kyl to conduct “a review of potential anti-conservative bias at Facebook.”
Kyl’s report of his findings states:
“Some interviewees provided specific examples of instances in which they believed Facebook unfairly removed or downgraded content or Pages because they were conservative. For example, some cited erroneous removals of language from the Bible, the Declaration of Independence, and the writings of St. Augustine. Many said they believe that conservative content is affected by adverse content enforcement actions more frequently than liberal content.”
Kyl’s study continues:
“Facebook has recognized the importance of our assessment and has taken some steps to address the concerns we uncovered. But there is still significant work to be done to satisfy the concerns we heard from conservatives.”
Others describe Facebook’s latest initiative in more ominous terms. As Eric Schiffer stated to the DCNF,
“This lights the torch of who controls news today. It creates a hail of fire against conservatives who want to receive news that isn’t tainted.”
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