June 2, 2023


Breaking News Breaf

Facebook has reduced visibility of left-wing media, while remaining criticized from both sides

Facebook changed the algorithm of its news feed in 2017 to reduce the visibility of left-wing American news sites, reports the Wall Street Journal. Its CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself approved these changes. Among the affected sites, Mother Jones, whose editorial director Ben Dreyfuss indicates that Facebook executives have assured her several times, in 2017 and 2018, that traffic could decrease, but not in a way that favors or disadvantages a given group of editors.

In 2019, Mother Jones saw a sharp drop in her social media audience, a loss of around $ 600,000 in 18 months, reports online newspaper The Verge. The leaders of this nonprofit media created in 1976 initially thought that their site was a collateral victim of a policy not aimed particularly at them, but they found that their situation kept getting worse, as the at tweeted its CEO Monika Bauerlein.

READ ALSO> Fake news and Russian interference: the two years that rocked Facebook

Other progressive sites mentioned by the “Wall Street Journal” claim to have seen their audience plunge on Facebook in recent years.

Accused by several American right-wing officials in 2016 of having an anti-conservative bias, Facebook overreacted by removing its (human) editorial team and letting a number of questionable articles pass.

If he has long kept away from politics, underlines the “Wall Street Journal”, Zuckerberg is now fully involved, and unlike 2016 he no longer leaves the surveillance (or not) to subordinates. of the presidential election seen from the social network:

“Mr. Zuckerberg is now a political actor. He dined with President Trump, chats regularly with White House adviser [et gendre de Trump] Jared Kushner, and he urged parliamentarians to take a close look at his competitors, including TikTok and Apple. “

READ ALSO> Facebook: yes, we love the Conservatives!

He has forged ties with several close to Trump and right-wing figures. The CEO has also met with leaders of rights groups, such as Color of Change, but these leaders have often come out critical, believing that Zuckerberg does not understand the issues raised by his practices and the power of his platform.

The many polemics – from Democrats as well as Republicans – against Facebook have not affected the rapid growth of its revenues, with a turnover of 70 billion dollars (60 billion euros) in 2019 against 28 billion (24 billion euros) in 2016.

“Propagator of disinformation”

If his employees are predominantly on the left, according to the “Wall Street Journal”, Zuckerberg chapters them by explaining that Facebook users are more conservative, hence the refusal to delete messages from Trump, including some of the network employees. social felt they were breaking its rules.

A former mentor of Mark Zuckerberg denounces: Facebook and Google are “harmful for democracy”

In September, Joe Biden’s campaign manager sent Zuckerberg a letter, read by the “WSJ”, in which he called Facebook “Biggest propagator of disinformation in the country on the voting process”. A spokesperson for the company responded with a denial, assuring the American daily that “Any insinuation that Facebook favors one political party to the detriment of another is simply false”.

According to the WSJ, Zuckerberg’s heightened interest in political issues has created a wedge between him and his number two, Sheryl Sandberg. She has told colleagues about her disagreement with certain decisions, such as refusing to remove from Facebook a video of Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives, video tampered with to make her appear drunk.