CNN Defends Facebook While Benefiting from Platform’s Algorithm Change

CNN has defended Facebook in an article discussing the alleged limiting of YouTube stars Diamond and Silk’s Facebook page — while benefiting from the sites recently changed News Feed algorithm.

In a recent article titled “Led by Fox News, pro-Trump Media Fuels False Narrative to Accuse Facebook of Censorship,” CNN claims that conservative media had stated that YouTube stars Diamond and Silk were banned from Facebook. The article states; “Hardaway and Richardson, who are sisters from North Carolina, were at one point earlier this month erroneously told by Facebook that their content had been deemed ‘unsafe for the community,’ but the Diamond & Silk page was never banned. It was never taken down. It was never censored. Data from an analytics firm owned by Facebook shows it has not lost a significant amount of its influence on the social network.”

However, it should be noted that Breitbart News never claimed that Diamond and Silk were banned, Breitbart News reported that Diamond and Silk claimed that their reach to their Facebook fans was being limited and included a comment from a Facebook spokesperson who stated that their content was “unsafe to the community.” When Breitbart News reached out to Facebook for comment a spokesperson simply stated; “We are aware of this issue. We are reaching out to the creators of Diamond & Silk to try and resolve this matter.”

What is quite interesting is that CNN has rushed to Facebook’s defense in this case, shortly after the social media site altered their News Feed algorithm in a manner which has greatly benefited CNN in recent months. Newswhip reports that between February and April, CNN saw a 30.1 percent increase in interactions, a jump of approximately 11 million more interactions than in previous months. This increase comes shortly after Facebook altered their newsfeed to focus on posts from friends and family and introduced a “Trusted Sources” feature for news publishers.

Newswhip reports:

While the site did have some very popular stories (66 of 5,597 stories published in March saw over 100,000 Facebook interactions), there seems to have also been a general lift in interactions for stories further down the chain. CNN’s average engagement per article in March was 7,010, up from 4,982 in February. The site’s most engaging stories of the month encompassed a broad range of themes, largely related to breaking news.

CNN isn’t the only mainstream news publisher to have benefitted from an engagement increase in March. NBC and Fox News also consolidated their positions in second and third place, with increases of a few million interactions.

The analytics site also notes that other mainstream news outlets such as the New York Times, the BBC, the Washington Post, and the Guardian also saw large increases in their interactions following the News Feed algorithm update.

As for the case of Diamond and Silk, the duo told CNN; “We’ve made contact with Facebook and are looking forward to getting this matter resolved.” Further details on Diamond and Silk’s Facebook page and allegations of limiting are still unclear.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan_ or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com 


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