On May 9, 2016, Gizmodo reported that Faceberg’s off-center “trending” stories column involves a bit more human input than the social network implies in its boilerplate description. An apelike rather than algorithmic set of curators allegedly suppress conservative news outlets and points of view from being shown to hundreds of millions of daily viewers, many of whom use Faceberg as their primary news source. Confirming this rumor—at least when it comes to human involvement in content curation—are document leaks from former Faceberg employees to The Guardian, which show that there is indeed a 24-hour rotating team of news editors.
They rely on ten news sites—BBC News, CNN, Fox News, The Guardian, NBC News, The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Yahoo News, and Yahoo—to determine if something is trending, and have a framework for inserting stories they find relevant or important, allegedly even those which are not trending or being talked about. The leakers, who are anonymous, claim that conservative voices are a minority on the clickbait eboard, and that depending on who is curating the column at a given time, certain topics are blacklisted. Faceberg CEO Mark Zuckerberg denies any bias of coursh, and also plans to reach out to “leading conservatives” for some kind of dialog, an odd concession that seems imply the social network’s guilt.
Let’s not kid ourselves. Anyone who has been checking Faceberg on a daily basis—some people on multiple accounts—are very much aware of what goes on and how formulaic “trends” are. Let’s dispel with this fiction that it’s all a coincidence. There will usually be some kind of vaguely or very anti-Trump or anti-Republican headline, perhaps unavoidable given that Trump has been covered in the news nonstop since last summer. Then there will be more neutral or favorable headlines about Clinton or Sanders. Most glaringly, there will be headlines about whatever leftist pet cause interested Faceberg’s curators that day, especially from feminist and pro-LGBT perspectives, or documentations of perceived “racism” in some aspect of our culture—I feel like every week I learn a different cultural product or institution is “too White.”
I suspect hard-left interest stories are the most likely to be curated of all the trending stories. These overt causes célèbres seldom have a national or global impact and no one will care in 24 hours outside of diehard circles. “Brave” members of protected classes doing current-year shit somewhere online or in meatspace is really not need-to-know news for the ill-informed public or something most people express an interest in without being conditioned to. Neither are famous persons' opinions on things well outside their field of subject matter expertise or relevance. There is no inherent reason why it should be in the daily digest of hundreds of millions of people who will likely only read less than five stories about the world that day when there are much more important and non-ideological news items. It isn’t electoral politics, government, sports, entertainment, etc.; it is signal news. You like it and share it for points with your peers.
One could imagine a movement conservative version of the trend column including stories about Israel, megachurch sermons, or the activities of the NRA in a friendly light. But of course, we don’t really see this at all; Faceberg is one-sided. After having your fix of what liberals want you to read about in terms of political and cultural news, there will sometimes be some brain-dead, degenerate celebrity stories which really ought to be of no consequence to the rest of us. It only serves to blunt and distract readers’ minds. Finally, to round things out, there are usually sportsball or local crime headlines. Some things have not changed from print.
What Faceberg has at its disposal is a power no single entity on earth has wielded since probably the pre-Reformation Roman Catholic Church; the ability to unilaterally set the Overton window for entire strata of the population. With 61% of millennials saying they get political news from the platform, it is the homily of the 21st century, or perhaps, the rabbinical dialogue. And mind you, these are the same people who also consider ((((The Daily Show)))) and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver to be authoritative sources of news and truth—and both shows entirely rest on the paradigm of “I can’t believe people think x in the year y.”
Facebook has the capacity to shape people's paradigms in a way that is revolutionary. It is essentially the nuclear ICBM of metapolitical warfare. Whoever is at the helm can literally pick an idea, an opinion, or a narrative that they want hundreds of millions of people to passively ingest and just bomb them with it, leaving behind a fiery column of upvotes and signaling that sears the flesh of the nation and humbles it before a belligerent and hostile institution. It is extremely potent and dangerous, and a power we can only dream about having for ourselves.
But something the alt-right’s huwhyte supreme meme team has discovered over the last year about social media—especially on Twitter—is that there are sewers running into Fort Echo Chamber. They may hate us and want to no-platform us, but they can’t resist covering us, which means we can essentially get these people to quote us verbatim and saturate cyberspace with our opinions. Through the power of meme magick and guerilla troll tactics against media personalities, hashtags, and trending topics, we have had more mainstream coverage than ever before. Last summer's #cuckservative blew up and got famous alt-right hairstylist Richard Spencer in the New York Times. Trump retweets alt-right and White nationalist Twitter accounts (though his team will sometimes delete them). This is the man who might be President next year. I believe it is really only a matter of time before you log into Facebook one day and see the alt-right on the front page. And while most of the millions of people that will read it will just be triggered (which is great), there will be people for whom that is the start of their blackpilling (which is even better). Praise Kek.