I'm a Liberal, and I Think It's Dumb that Facebook Suppressed Conservative News Stories

Facebook shouldn't go to great lengths to filter out conservative news, baloney though it may be.

Over the last five or six years that I have devoted the majority of my creative output to making fun of politics and politicians in the United States, I have lambasted Fox News I cannot tell you how many times. Usually, my mocking of that “news” outlet comes down to a very simple principle — they intentionally filter the opposing viewpoint either completely out of their coverage, or through an insanely skewed lens, presenting a version of liberals that largely doesn’t exist. Some liberals might not care about hearing that Facebook — whether as part of a top-down edict or just the result of shitty middle-management — has been doing essentially the same shit with their “trending” section, yeah, I think that’s pretty dumb.
As much as I hate 90% of the bullshit that comes spewing forth on Fox News, I’m not a safe spacer. I’m not someone who has to wall myself up and away from the opposing viewpoint to feel good about my own. In fact, I think the only way you can judge your own views is by your opponents’ views. If you don’t challenge them, how can you ever be sure you’re really espousing what it is you truly believe?
And don’t get me wrong — I’m not saying Facebook has some moral obligation to put up Breitbart AIDS on their trending news section. I’m just saying that if a story is trending, let it fucking trend. Then, and I know this is going to sound nuts-o to you a lot of you, allow people of various views to read and comment on the story. What better way to get dialogue going is there? If there’s a better way to confront bullshit with truth or at the very least a different perspective, I don’t know what it could possibly be.
But we as Americans need to stop demanding that we get our information tailor-made for our biases.


Look, I get it. Reading sites like Reason and Breitbart and Fox News can make your teeth itch. They mock issues like transgender bathroom access because they don’t get it. They deny that climate change is man-made or even that big a deal. They still believe in “shoot first, aim later” as a foreign policy goal. But seriously, stop trying to hide from them. They exist. And if nothing else, do you know how much easier it is to find them and mock them if they aren’t being filtered out of your view? It’s truly glorious to smack a right-wing nutjob down with facts and reality, but you can’t do that if you wall yourself up in the same kind of ideological cave that Limbaugh, Hannity, and O’Reilly provide them.
While it’s true that it doesn’t look — at this point anyway — like Mark Zuckerberg himself was pulling the strings sending out company-wide memos dictating that conservative news stories be squashed, liberals really should take up for conservatives here. If for no other reason than we all know that this shit will only “prove” to them that everyone is biased and hates conservatives. It will only further entrench in their minds that they “have to” have Fox News because to them, literally every other news source is run by George Soros and Saul Alinsky’s disembodied spirit. So we should plug this hole up now, and publicly defend their right to have trending stories hitĀ allĀ our feeds if they are legitimately trending or not.
Facebook is under no legal obligation to ensure complete impartiality in their trending section of course. And some editorial control should be exercised because dangerous misinformation is still a bad thing, even in the digital age…especially in the digital age. But they shouldn’t be purposefully squashing conservative news. That’s not fair, and it’s just not necessary at the end of it all.

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1 Comment

  • If conservative sites, pages, and stories didn’t want scrutiny then they would stop constantly cherrypicking or distorting facts to make their main points. It’s beyond pathetic that conservative articles ALWAYS require a fact check. Not that liberal sources are always perfect, but they bat true at a much higher rate.
    Stop demanding fact free news and gain respect, conservative media.

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