National Religious Broadcasters Respond to Facebook Censorship Allegation
"Unfortunately, Facebook's explanation does not adequately reassure us of its neutrality following this whistleblower report and previously documented incidents of censorship," said Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of National Religious Broadcasters. "Facebook should take this opportunity to declare its commitment to free speech for all on its platform and to implement a transparent policy holding its employees accountable for not discriminating, consciously or subconsciously, against viewpoints they may not value or agree with - including those they may wish to be 'hoaxes' or have 'insufficient sources.'"
Gizmodo, reported yesterday that a number of former Facebook employees stated the company manipulated the use of its algorithm to censor what news was being spread on the news feed. According to the report, employees both "routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers," according to one of its former journalists, and were instructed to artificially "inject" stories that were favored by Facebook management, known for its liberal positions on cultural issues.
Facebook responded by denying the claims. The company insists it sticks to "strict guidelines" for the trending topics staff and does not allow discrimination of sources based on ideological origin. A spokesperson said, "Reviewers are required to accept topics that reflect real world events, and are instructed to disregard junk or duplicate topics, hoaxes, or subjects with insufficient sources."
The National Religious Broadcasters have been tracking and documenting cases of censorship of Christian worldview and free speech breaches including the 2010 example of Apple removing evangelical leader Chuck Colson's Manhattan Declaration from its iTunes App Store.