Facebook matters: Social media giant is shaping the views of this generation and we should care


An investigation is underway at Facebook after a former employee claimed that the social media giant ignores news stories of a conservative nature. The unnamed, former employee claims that conservative political stories have been omitted from the "trending" list on the site. This claim has caused controversy in the US and has prompted a Senate inquiry into Facebook's practices. 

Mark Zuckerberg has refuted the claims and says he will meet with any conservative to hear their concerns and says he too will investigate the allegation made by the former employee. 

If Facebook is found to have shown some bias in how they present trending topics and news stories, the company could face ramifications from advertisers, users and government officials. 

Obviously it's good news if no fault is found, but it is worth stopping to acknowledge just how much power social media has on its users; particularly those aged between 15 and 34 years of age. 

Many of us, within that demographic, spend a significant portion of our time online on Facebook. From there we click on links, videos and news stories. Facebook undoubtedly impacts how we receive and perceive news stories. Social media has been found to be a key influencer when it comes to elections. 

While most publications and news outlets tends to have a subtle (or not so subtle) leaning, both sides of an argument are usually put forward and it's left for the viewer, listener or reader to make up their own mind. This has to be the case in terms of social media, otherwise we face a terrifying new-age of propaganda. 

Jessica Kelly, Newstalk.com 

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