Thune holding facebook to account for reports of censoring conservative news.

US Senator John Thune is taking action over accusations regarding the Facebook organization manipulating news to eliminate conservative topics over liberal ones.

John_Thune,_official_portrait,_111th_CongressA top Senate Republican is pressing Facebook to explain how it curates news for its Trending Topics feature in response to a report that the company’s employees may have suppressed stories related to conservatives.

The leader of the chamber’s Commerce Committee, Sen. John Thune, said in a statement the social network “must answer these serious allegations,” first reported by Gizmodo, “and hold those responsible to account if there has been political bias in the dissemination of trending news.”

“Any attempt by a neutral and inclusive social media platform to censor or manipulate political discussion is an abuse of trust and inconsistent with the values of an open Internet,” Thune said.

Read the entire article here.

18 thoughts on “Thune holding facebook to account for reports of censoring conservative news.

  1. Anonymous

    Isn’t Facebook a company that should be open to do what it wants without government regulation? I don’t agree with Facebook but shouldn’t the consumers who are upset with them walk away rather than use the government to force them to do something?

    1. Anonymous

      Isn’t identifying something as trending when it’s not a form of false advertising or outright lying? Zuckerberg is another socialist jerk who has no morals when it comes to pushing the socialist agenda.

  2. Troy Jones

    Senator Thune’s last comment says it all. There are consequences for false advertising. If they advertise their trending stories are what is really trending yet censor certain positions, they should be held accountable. Maybe the consequences are legal and maybe they are via public awareness and sanction.

    I say let’s get the facts and then we can discern what is the proper response.

    More than once I’ve wondered why I have to look down my feed to see something conservative said by one of my friends while a liberal post stays on the front page. Maybe it is innocent but I do have more conservative friends on Facebook than liberal friends but you wouldn’t know it by reading my feed.

    1. crossgrain

      This has only to do with the trending topics on the upper right hand side of your home page. It has nothing to do with what appears in your personal feed. If, like me, you really only look at FB on mobile, you don’t even see it. Also, if you turn to FB to get your national/international news, then you rightly get what you deserve.

      1. Anonymous

        Crossgrain is correct. Check the upper right corner of FB. And if you don’t like what you see, there is a drop down arrow that allows users to pick and choose what they see in their trending feed.

        Johnny’s temper tantrum is nothing but a witch hunt.

          1. Troy Jones

            And not being honest with customers can have consequences.

            If someone who uses social media thinks something is trending, it isn’t acceptable just because crossgrain thinks they should use something else for their news.

            I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t like it if it were the opposite. Just like he wouldn’t like if the IRS targeted liberal groups. Its all a matter of perspective with some.

            1. Anonymous

              As a matter of perspective, the practices of the IRS actually matter, and the IRS is a government entity.

              Facebook is a private company. Unless you’ve ignored real news, the company has never made an attempt be politically neutral (gay marriage, privacy), nor is it under any obligation to do so.

              This is a quixotic crusade for an asinine cause. It’s unfortunate Sen. Thune is squandering this opportunity to fill the leadership void of the GOP by chasing this windmill.

              1. duggersd

                FB is not under any obligation to be neutral unless they claim to be. Here is the FB response to the allegations: “We take allegations of bias very seriously,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Facebook is a platform for people and perspectives from across the political spectrum.”

                “There are rigorous guidelines in place for the review team to ensure consistency and neutrality,” the spokesperson added. “These guidelines do not permit the suppression of political perspectives. Nor do they permit the prioritization of one viewpoint over another or one news outlet over another. These guidelines do not prohibit any news outlet from appearing in Trending Topics.”
                I do not use FB or any other social media. If I believe a company has too many values I do not agree with, I do not use that company. But it is nice to see publicized the fact that FB is perhaps not what they claim to be. As far as the Feds looking into it, not necessary.

            2. Anonymous

              Facebook users are not “customers”. I have a FB profile but I don’t purchase anything from FB, nor do I pay to use it. No one pays to use it.

              Someone once referred to you as the chief republican excuse maker. Seems they were correct.

              1. Anonymous

                You’re right. Facebook users are not the consumer – we’re the product. If Thune’s assertion is that Facebook lies to consumers about trending topics or as he calls it false advertising than that means some major corporations (and possibly donors) are pissed. If that’s the case he ought to say so. Be honest about. Another plausible explanation could be that his team from the 90s who are still in place have never had to use social media in a campaign and they got confused by a suggested post from Facebook (i.e., a solicitation from Facebook to buy ad space) and when they realized it wasn’t a real post they got mad. I wish Sen. Thune would talk about real issues like rural care for an aging population, getting funding for our roads and bridges so we don’t have to raise the gas tax on our hard working ranchers, farmers, manufacturers and families or using his considerable clout to tout South Dakota as a silicon prairie instead of going on a political witch hunt against a huge tech company who could operate data center here in his state. Any of those would be good moves Senator. I’m tired of you taking swift action on non-issues that play well to the tin-foil hat caucus of our party and I’m tired of you coming home to play basketball with elementary schoolers. It’s time to come home and explain what you’ve been doing with the 100% mandate we gave you six years ago.

            3. crossgrain

              FB is social media – no more reliable than gossip down at the cafe. If you don’t like it, don’t use it.

              Besides, why is the gov’t stepping in over “bias” from a pseudo-news source? Meanwhile Thune remains mum on Fox News and MSNBC bias? Faux outrage to rally the base. Yawn.

      2. Anonymous

        Ah, so we can’t expect honesty from a company-I get it now, harebrain. Anything to push your socialist little agenda.

        1. crossgrain

          Facebook and honesty don’t really belong in the same sentence. Best get off the intertubes, grandpa.

  3. Daniel Buresh

    Thune likes big gov’t apparently. If Facebook is doing what they are accused of, I’m not a fan of it, but the gov’t intervening and our Senator trying to call out Facebook?!?……that makes me even more mad. Policing a private sector free service than anyone can remove themselves from does not fall under the job duties of a sitting US Senator. Political posturing is all this is and it looks like Troy Jones is lapping that sh!t up like a dog in heat.

  4. Bright Ideas

    Troy,

    Is Fox News “fair and balanced”?

    Lets substitute them for facebook in your first statement…

    Senator Thune’s last comment says it all. There are consequences for false advertising. If they advertise their reporting is fair and balanced yet have and espouse a pro conservative message, they should be held accountable. Maybe the consequences are legal and maybe they are via public awareness and sanction.

    I say let’s get the facts and then we can discern what is the proper response.

    Hmmmmm…..

    To be noted I dont think CNN or MSNBC are any more impartial, I also don’t believe there should be a congressional investigation in any of them.