Pressure mounts on Facebook over Trending Topics 'bias'

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has pledged to meet conservative critics in a bid to persuade them that the social network is taking allegations that it has suppressed right-wing news sources seriously.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

The promise is part of a counter-offensive after tech blog Gizmodo reported a claim that workers prevented stories about the right-wing CPAC gathering, politicians Mitt Romney and Rand Paul, and other conservative topics from appearing in the section, even though they were organically trending among the site’s users, and "artificially injected" other stories.

According to Zuckerberg, the company is making a full investigation but has "found no evidence this report is true".

He wrote in a personal Facebook post: "We take this report very seriously… if we find anything against our principles, you have my commitment that we will take additional steps to address it."

Facebook has also published a longer post titled ‘Information About Trending Topics’ on its newsroom site in a bid to get its side of the story across.

The item, bylined by global operations chief Justin Osofsky, includes an explanation of how the social network protects against bias in Trending Topics.

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