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Facebook to brief House committee after bias allegations

Facebook to brief House committee after bias allegations
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Facebook will brief a House committee on issues related to allegations that it suppressed conservative content, a congressional aide saidTuesday.

 

The company plans to brief the House Energy and Commerce Committee, an aide to the panel said. It was not clear whether the briefing had been offered by the social network or if lawmakers had initiated it. A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment.

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Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneCheney fight stokes cries of GOP double standard for women Trump muddles Republican messaging on Afghanistan The Memo: Trump's critics face wrath of GOP base MORE (R-S.D.) seized on the bias allegations on Tuesday, asking Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to answer questions about them.

The allegations concern the “Trending” section of Facebook, which sits to the right of the news feed. The feature is reportedly run by a group of “curators” who work from a list of stories determined to be popular on Facebook by an algorithm.

A Gizmodo report quoted a former curator who said other people on the team of workers had omitted topics from the list that were popular with conservatives and included conservative media outlets.

“Facebook must answer these serious allegations and hold those responsible to account if there has been political bias in the dissemination of trending news,” said Thune in a statement. “Any attempt by a neutral and inclusive social media platform to censor or manipulate political discussion is an abuse of trust and inconsistent with the values of an open Internet.”

— This story was updated at 5:17 p.m.