Conservatives routinely tell of a liberal bias in mainstream media and academe, and evidence is mounting to support their complaint.
The online publication Gizmodo reported the latest affirmation Monday, exposing the political bent of Facebook's "Trending" feature. Gizmodo is not the National Review or Fox News. It is media for millennials and Generation Z, as Facebook faces old age.
The story quotes former Facebook workers explaining intentional suppression of stories favorable to conservatives and their causes. Ivy League-educated "news curators," sources explained, prevented conservative articles from appearing in Facebook's "Trending" section. To Gizmodo, this outs Facebook as a business "much like" traditional media companies run by "a select group of professionals with vaguely center-left sensibilities." In other words, old school and not cool.
"Workers prevented stories about the right-wing CPAC gathering, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, and other conservative topics from appearing in the highly-influential section, even though they were organically trending among the site's users," Gizmodo explains. Meanwhile, curators boosted Black Lives Matter movement stories as if they were wildly popular.
Facebook management instructed curators "to artificially 'inject' selected stories into the trending news module, even if they weren't popular enough to warrant inclusion —or in some cases weren't trending at all."
Most media companies make content decisions, so this is nothing inherently scandalous or new. It merely backs up complaints of anti-conservative bias.
The exposé comes amid a spate of university students and administrators forbidding and/or obstructing conservative speeches on campuses. In February, a swarm of students at California State University, Los Angeles physically interfered with conservative commentator Ben Shapiro's speaking engagement. A police motorcade escorted Shapiro through a mob of protesters determined to suppress his voice. Shapiro's topic: censorship and intellectual intolerance on campuses.
In the United States, politics should be a contest of concepts — not a struggle for the right to express them. True liberals, as advocates of knowledge and tolerance, should be the first to defend the full and free exchange of conflicting ideas.
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