A conservative Facebook would probably fail — but Facebook should worry about it anyway

In the days after the 2016 election, Gizmodo published a much-discussed story that predicted our current moment. The story, written by Michael F. Nuñez, alleged that Facebook had built a tool to reduce the spread of fake news — and then abandoned the tool over fears it would disproportionately affect right-wing news sites. Nuñez reported that Facebook had undertaken a high-level overview of its products in an effort to identify ways in which they might be biased against conservatives.

Facebook denied most of the substance of the story. But subsequent reporting reporting did find concerns within the company that right-wing users might someday turn on the service en masse. (See the now-famous May 2016 meeting between Zuckerberg and 16…

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