Latest outrage: Republican senators investigate news editing | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Latest outrage: Republican senators investigate news editing

Posted By on Wed, May 11, 2016 at 9:50 AM

click to enlarge TRENDING: Republicans in Congress want to know if Facebook editors are putting thumbs on the scale in choosing articles for the trending news feature with a liberal bias. Interesting question. But none of the damn business of Congress.
  • TRENDING: Republicans in Congress want to know if Facebook editors are putting thumbs on the scale in choosing articles for the trending news feature with a liberal bias. Interesting question. But none of the damn business of Congress.
I'm surprised at the lack of a media outcry over Republican members of Congress moving to demand information from Facebook about editing of news stories posted on the social media service.

Could it be because conventional media isn't too friendly toward Facebook, which — along with Google — is vacuuming up just about every reader and ad dollar in the United States from a cratering publishing industry?

I don't know the answer to that question. I do know that it is fair to report and talk about how Facebook picks articles to highlight and whether editors' are shaping that selection to their own outlook. But it's none of the government's damn business, any more than it is the U.S. Senate's business to investigate the conservative bias in Fox News' presentation of current events. If subpoenaed, I would invoke the 1st Amendment against this chilling foray.

The Senate does understand, I hope, that Facebook's mathematical formulas tend to shape news feeds to topics and outlooks that match a member's interest. It hasn't kept all the wingnuts off my Facebook page.



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