Anonymous claims accusing the social network of deliberately leaving conservative websites out of its "trending topics" box are untrue, the company said late Monday.
"We take these reports extremely seriously, and have found no evidence that the anonymous allegations are true," Tom Stocky, vice president of search, said in a Facebook post..
The claims started circulating earlier Monday after tech blog Gizmodo posted two reports citing anonymous sources claiming that the people responsible for curating the trending topics were told to suppress stories from certain conservative outlets, while promoting stories from others.
Stocky denied this. "We have in place strict guidelines for our trending topic reviewers as they audit topics surfaced algorithmically: reviewers are required to accept topics that reflect real world events, and are instructed to disregard junk or duplicate topics, hoaxes, or subjects with insufficient sources," he said.
"Facebook does not allow or advise our reviewers to systematically discriminate against sources of any ideological origin and we've designed our tools to make that technically not feasible. At the same time, our reviewers' actions are logged and reviewed, and violating our guidelines is a fireable offense."
The post did not address whether any Facebook employees had violated the guidelines in the past or had been disciplined or fired for it. Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.