Gov. Scott Walker was one of several conservative names appearing in popular news stories that were kept from being promoted on Facebook by the social media website's own employees tasked with telling users which news was trending, according to a Gizmodo article released Monday citing unnamed sources.
According to a former employee who worked at Facebook, workers often suppressed news stories that would appeal to conservative users from the "trending" section of Facebook.
"This individual says that 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," according the article.
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Gizmodo obtained notes from the former employee that showed a log of topics omitted from the trending section, which included Walker, former IRS official Lois Lerner, conservative news aggregator the Drudge Report, former Navy Seal Chris Kyle, who was murdered in 2013 and the subject of the film "American Sniper," and former Fox News contributor Steven Crowder.
According to Gizmodo's interviews, stories covered by conservative news outlets, such as Breitbart, Washington Examiner and Newsmax, that were shared among Facebook users enough to be recognized by the site's algorithm that identifies trending topics were excluded unless mainstream outlets like the New York Times, the BBC and CNN picked up the same stories.
The article said other former employees "denied consciously suppressing conservative news, and we were unable to determine if left-wing news topics or sources were similarly suppressed."