Facebook claims no bias

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Facebook has sent a 12-page letter to Congress denying that there was any political bias in its "trending topics" services, while at the same time promising to make improvements.

The letter [PDF] from Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch to chair of the Senate Commerce Committee John Thune follows an explosive report that the social media company was actively restricting links to "conservative" news sources in a specific part of its service.

The claim came from an anonymous former moderator of the service in which current news topics are manually chosen and promoted. Facebook said that it had run an investigation and concluded that there was "no evidence of systematic political bias in the selection or prominence of stories."

Regardless, it announced a number of changes to the service: updated guidelines and training; greater oversight; more public information about the service; and the ending of a "top 10" list of news outlets as a guide for the most important topics. ®


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