It was recently claimed that Facebook knowingly omitted conservative news from appearing in the Trending Topics section of the world’s largest social network, that contractors working for the company who curated the feed tried to avoid featuring news from conservative news outlets. Facebook did respond to the report but that wasn’t enough for the United States Senate which wants founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to explain whether or not Facebook has been manipulating the news.

Chairman of the powerful Senate Commerce Committee has called on Mark Zuckerberg to respond to these claims that news curators for Trending Topics routinely suppress conservative articles and viewpoints.

Committee Chairman Sen. John Thune wrote that Facebook has morphed into an important source of civil discourse and news for millions of Americans across the globe and that if the allegations of manipulation are true, it goes against the company’s claims that the social network is a neutral platform.

“Any attempt by a neutral and inclusive social media platform to censor or manipulate political discussion is an abuse of trust and inconsistent with the values of an open internet,” Thune added.

Facebook sent out a statement attributed to “a spokesperson” earlier this week to address these claims, it maintained that news and trends shown on the site are not censored rather they are brought up by algorithm, adding that human curators are just there to ensure relevance of content and disregard junk, hoaxes, duplicate topics or subjects with insufficient sources.

Thune has asked that Facebook provide a detailed accounting of how its Trending Topics feature works, what role the news curators have and the steps that Facebook has taken following the allegations of politically motivated manipulation of news stories. A list of stories removed to added to Trending Topics has also been requested. Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg have until May 24th to respond.

Filed in Web. Read more about and . Source: recode.net