Facebook says its investigation found no systematic bias in the trending news section, but it can’t rule out unintentional bias

You might have heard: The US Senate Commerce Committee has launched an inquiry into Facebook’s news curation after former news curators said they regularly suppressed conservative news from the site’s trending news section

But did you know: Responding to Sen. John Thune’s letter on its trending news section, Facebook says its own investigation found no systematic bias in the curation of the section. But the investigation couldn’t fully rule out unintentional bias or isolated instances of bias. Now, Facebook plans to put a number of changes in place to prevent possible bias in the future. Those changes include updating terminology in its guidelines for trending news curators, eliminating a list of websites it used to verify or determine importance of a story, and refresher training for curators on content decisions.

+ “As much as we may care about Facebook’s alleged manipulation of news feeds, we should be concerned about this federal intrusion into an independent organization’s editorial process even more. Congress doesn’t have to explain itself, but three possible explanations might justify its demands: Facebook doesn’t qualify for First Amendment protection; the inquiry doesn’t involve First Amendment–protected activity; or Facebook’s editorial process is an appropriate subject for Congress to probe. None of these remotely hold water.” (Slate)