Facebook spiked a legitimate fact check about abortion after Republicans complained

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

In 2016, Facebook killed off a part of the service that highlighted trending news articles, following a hysterical overreaction to a Gizmodo piece that claimed, weakly, that the company was “routinely suppressing conservative news.” (It turns out that when human editors are told to pick the day’s most important stories, they tend to pick reported articles from mainstream sources over hyper-partisan opinion pieces.) Conservative media howled with outrage over the report, Facebook panicked and fired its editors, and the job of serving up links to its user base was outsourced entirely to algorithms, which elevated misinformation above journalism throughout the 2016 presidential election campaign.

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