Like a snake eating its own tail, an exposé of the political bias behind Facebook’s influential “Trending” section is being promoted in the last place you’d expect: The “Trending” section itself.
As Quartz reported earlier today, the trending module is curated not by an algorithm but by human curators (full disclosure: I used to be one). It provides a list of topics that are popular on Facebook at any given time.
Gizmodo published allegations from a former staffer that staff routinely censor the topics that appear—especially those from conservative news sites—while promoting coverage of liberal causes like the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Washington Post’s Philip Bump wrote that “The great irony … is that Gizmodo’s story therefore likely won’t end up on Facebook’s list of trending topics.” A few hours later, he updated his story to add: “Or maybe it will.”
Facebook did not respond to a request for comment from Quartz, but later issued a statement to Buzzfeed: