It’s no longer speculation that Facebook’s changing algorithms has hurt what is perceived as right-of-center news sites and benefited left-of-center online news outlets, according to a comprehensive analysis by WesternJournal.com.
According to the study, liberal publishers have gained about 2 percent more web traffic from Facebook than they were getting prior to the algorithm changes implemented in early February. On the other hand, conservative publishers have lost an average of nearly 14 percent of their traffic from Facebook.
“This algorithm change, intentional or not, has in effect censored conservative viewpoints on the largest social media platform in the world,” the study concludes. “This change has ramifications that, in the short-term, are causing conservative publishers to downsize or fold up completely, and in the long-term could swing elections in the United States and around the world toward liberal politicians and policies.”
The WesternJournal.com study compares two rival New York publishers — the New York Post and the New York Daily News. The Post is well-known as a right-leaning outlet, whereas the Daily News has an established left-leaning slant. The Daily News saw a 24.18 percent increase in traffic from Facebook, while the right-leaning Post’s traffic dropped 11.44 percent in the same time period.
The report quotes Campbell Brown, a former anchor on NBC and CNN who now leads Facebook’s news partnerships team, who told attendees at a recent technology and publishing conference that Facebook would be censoring news publishers based on its own internal biases: “This is not us stepping back from news. This is us changing our relationship with publishers and emphasizing something that Facebook has never done before: It’s having a point of view, and it’s leaning into quality news. … We are, for the first time in the history of Facebook, taking a step to try to to define what ‘quality news’ looks like and give that a boost.” (Read more from “Proof! Facebook Destroying Conservatives” HERE)