I need to put down all the reasons I don’t use Facebook at some point (Note to self: William Gibson’s view that Facebook is like a mall is a good one), but here’s a new one:
There was a dustup when a former Facebook employee said that the people running the ‘Trending News’ feature omitted conservative sources like The Daily Caller and Breitbart. Naturally, wingnuts had a hissy fit. Also naturally, Facebook reacted by catering to the mouthbreathing, conspiracy-mongering right and announcing “sweeping changes”. Short story, they’re going to make it a point to include the fever swamp of conservative “news” media.
This is pretty much exactly what happened to CNN at the turn of the century, when dullard Walter Issacson took the reins and announced he was going to do something about Republican cries of CNN’s liberal bias. He skipped off to DC and met with right wing senators, promising to give them equal treatment in coverage, which of course meant that CNN was sure to tell “both sides” – no matter how dumb, lunatic or fact-free the conservative story was.
I guess Anodyne Mark Zuckerberg has a little bit of an excuse – he was actually hauled in by Republican senators. Nevermind that FOX News has never been called to the Senate to explain its bias, or that conservative views happily thrive on Facebook (There’s no shortage of wingnut Facebook posts or pages. Everyone’s no more than a couple of degrees from a racist, white supremacist or conspiracy theorist in Facebook). To the right wing, this is just another example of LIBERAL BIAS! and all they want is THE TRUTH!
So naturally, Facebook will overcorrect. They’ll hire some Breitbart/Daily Caller types to “balance” the news section with stories about climate change hoaxes and Clenis fantasties. It doesn’t matter whether or not there’s any truth in the reporting, they’re just letting both sides express their views amirite?