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Facebook accused of being biased against conservative stories

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A group of conservative leaders met with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Wednesday after the social media giant was accused of being biased against conservative stories. (KGO-TV)

A group of conservative leaders gathered at Facebook's Menlo Park's headquarters Wednesday to meet with CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The meeting comes after accusations the social media giant is biased against conservative stories.

Facebook, like many websites, tracks what people are reading and promotes them as trending. But when someone claimed conservative stories were downplayed or ignored, that didn't sit well with Republicans. That led to a showdown at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park.

Facebook said it has a policy of neutrality as a platform for people and perspectives from across the political spectrum. But last week, the tech site Gizmodo reported that a former employee said conservative stories were regularly omitted from Facebook's trending list.

The outcry that resulted prompted Zuckerberg to invite a number of conservatives to explain how it determines what's featured. Are the decisions made by humans or by an algorithm?

Washington Examiner columnist and ABC News contributor Kristen Soltis Anderson is on the invitation list. "They want to make sure they're getting a fair shot, and I think the conversation is going to be about what's the role in data versus the role in people curating the content and how does human judgment decide are these conservative stories really getting the exposure they deserve," Anderson said.

Other conservatives invited include commentator Glenn Beck and a representative from the Donald Trump campaign.

Political analyst Melinda Jackson at San Jose State University said Facebook needs to live up to journalistic standards, even on a social media platform. "Facebook I think has tried to maintain a neutral, down the middle approach. That's now been called into question. I think this will be a significant turning point perhaps about whether they affirm that neutrality," Jackson said.

Facebook made travel arrangements for Anderson and presumably paid expenses for everyone invited. Facebook kept media off its property and did not respond to our questions.
For full coverage on the 2016 presidential race, click here.

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politicsfacebooksocial mediadonald trumprepublicansmark zuckerbergu.s. & worldMenlo Park
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