Fox News apparently does not meet the standards for Facebook’s idea of journalism.
Facebook’s newest feature, the News Tab, hasn’t even debuted and already it shows signs of bias against conservatives. According to an internal memo, some of the news outlets to be promoted on the tab include BuzzFeed, the Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, The Huffington Post, and the BBC. However, Neiman Lab reports that Fox News is missing from the mock-ups.
The News Tab will be curated by human editors, who will create a page which will “prioritize stories with on the record sources,” according to the Information. The editors are supposed to ignore news stories that will “provoke, divide, and polarize.” (And we all know BuzzFeed would never publish anything with those characteristics.)
A number of the publishers in the News Tab mockup have not finalized any of their decisions to work with the News Tab. Facebook apparently offered licensing deals to publishers that included up to $3 million for the use of their content.
The Facebook News Tab sounds like a reincarnation of Facebook’s Trending section, which was a list of news stories and topics that trended on the page. Unlike the News Tab, the now discontinued Trending section was collected by algorithms, not human curators. However, that didn’t stop Facebook employees from suppressing content, according to Gizmodo.
A tweet from Business Insider’s Lucia Moses seemed to confirm the News Tab exclusion. She wrote, “Little surprised there’s no Fox News in Facebook’s news tab mockup.”
Facebook has relied on Wikipedia to help identify news outlets. Every link to Fox News includes a link to a Wikipedia page which accuses the outlet of “practicing biased reporting in favor of the Republican Party, the George W. Bush and Donald Trump administrations and conservative causes while slandering the Democratic Party and spreading harmful propaganda intended to negatively affect its members' electoral performances.”
None of Facebook’s decisions are set in stone as of yet. The company has yet to release the names of the outlets that have agreed to publish on the News Tab.
Fox News has a large online audience, with 17 million following its Facebook page.