tech2 News StaffJun 24, 2016 11:37:29 IST
Facebook has started offering "political bias" training to its employees to address the concerns that were raised during the trending topics controversy where the social media giant was accused to systematic bias towards conservatives. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's COO (Chief Operating Officer) announced this during an event at the American Enterprise Institute while pointing out that it was not a systematic bias but did not rule out the possibility that the bias might have been possible of rogue employees.
The "political bias" training is in addition to the training that is already provided to the Facebook employees which is focused on racial, age, gender, and national biases which helps the employees understand differences and open to much more range of opinions and viewpoints. The announcement comes almost six weeks after a former contractor from Facebook accused the company of suppressing conservative news as reported by The Daily Signal.
To showcase the commitment of Facebook in this matter Mark Zuckerberg had previously met with conservative leaders and also sent Sandberg to address any lingering doubts and issues. She emphasised that "Facebook is a platform for all ideas and all voices" and that for 1.6 billion people to use the platform, the open bias-free nature of the platform was essential.
Back in May, Gizmodo reported that conservative political news was often omitted from the website's "trending" list by Facebook workers as told by former Facebook workers. This caused a major controversy because omitting news stories relating to a particular political section amounted to changing the ideology of the readers and Facebook users while making news related to Democrats and Republicans the focus. This unconscious push is similar to altering the public opinion and perception which was not ethically or morally correct. However, the investigations conducted by the social media giant revealed that there was no systematic omission of the news.
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