If you’ve been following the news this week (well, from sources outside of those discovered on Facebook), Gizmodo broke this exclusive on Monday claiming–via the help of “inside sources” (read: former Facebookers)–that the social network routinely suppressed Conservative news stories in the “trending” section of the website and apps.
Today, according to Re/code, the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee has picked-up on these Facebook news manipulation allegations, and would like answers from the company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, himself.
In his letter to Zuckerberg, which is posted in its entirety below, Committee Chairman Senator John Thune called Facebook and social networks like it “an increasingly important source of news for Americans” and questioned whether the trending topics section was truly a neutral platform.
Thune also requested several pieces of information from Facebook, including directly questioning the news manipulation allegations, and asking the company who is ultimately responsible for approving the content featured in trending topics.
Zuckerberg might have set himself up for this, as he personally targeted Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump during this year’s F8 keynote address.
In any case, a government inquiry into Facebook’s use of both algorithmic and “human intervention” on a free social media platform is interesting—to say the least. Zuckerberg has until May 24th for an official response.