Gizmodo reported Monday that Facebook's outside contractors had manipulated Trending Topics to suppress conservative topics, citing several former contractors who said they had been instructed to do so.
"[W]e've looked into this and found that there is no truth to the claims in Gizmodo," said a Facebook spokesperson Tuesday.
"My team is responsible for Trending Topics," blogged Facebook's Tom Stocky, "and I want to address reports alleging that Facebook contractors manipulated Trending Topics to suppress stories of interest to conservatives. We take these reports extremely seriously, and have found no evidence that the anonymous allegations are true."
Berin Szoka, president of TechFreedom, was looking to give Facebook the benefit of the doubt. “I don’t think it’s unreasonable for people to be concerned about something like this," he said in a podcast, "but I do think it’s all too easy for anyone across the political spectrum to leap to the assumption that their group must be being singled out here, and if they are being singled out, it must be because of the result of some direct intention or conspiracy. People are just not psychologically wired to want to accept explanations like, actually, it’s the natural result of a few people making decisions, and maybe the process has gotten better over time.”