A pair of Gizmodo stories have prompted journalists to ask questions about Facebook’s power to manipulate political opinion in an already heated election year. If the claims are accurate, Facebook contractors have depressed some conservative news, and their curatorial hand affects the Facebook Trending list more than the public realizes. Mark Zuckerberg took to his Facebook page yesterday to argue that Facebook does everything possible to be neutral and that there are significant procedures in place to minimize biased coverage. He also promises to look into the accusations.
Over the weekend rumors began to swirl that Facebook was looking at spending about $100 million to buy Israeli startup Face.com, to access its clever face recognition technology. Now it’s suggested via GigaOm that the momentum for the deal is actually in Russia’s search engine leader Yandex, which invested in Face in 2010, may be looking to sell its large stake in the company for a combination of cash and Facebook stock. Continue reading →