18 Days Out: Facebook Allows Story About Landscapers Finding a Buried Car to Trend, Not News Vital to Midterm Elections

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg appears on multiple devices
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With only 18 days left until the 2022 midterm elections, the top five news stories that Facebook is pushing to its users include Diwali becoming an official holiday in New York City schools and landscapers finding a car buried in a yard. Meanwhile, the issues that matter to voters are not chosen by Mark Zuckerberg’s algorithm to trend on the platform.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is allowing trivial news stories to trend as “top” stories while the United States is plagued with inflation, an illegal migration crisis, crime waves, and the deadly fentanyl drug making its way across the country’s southern border.

According to analytics firm NewsWhip, the top five trending news stories for a 12-hour window on Friday morning include the following headlines:

1) Diwali will be honored as an official holiday in New York City schools

NPR reports in the top trending story in America:

Diwali, a holiday known as the “Festival of Lights” and celebrated primarily in South Asia and the Caribbean, will become an official school holiday in New York City, local leadership announced Thursday.

“Today, South Asian and Indo-Caribbean families, like mine, all over this city have made incredible contributions, and today I am proud to say our time has come,” said New York state assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar, who introduced the legislation. “The time has come to recognize over 200,000 New Yorkers of the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, and Jain faiths who celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights.”

2) Appeals court to Lindsey Graham: Time to testify in election probe

MSNBC reports Facebook’s second trending story:

It was nearly four months ago when a special grand jury hearing evidence in an investigation into possible 2020 election interference in Georgia issued subpoenas to several people close to Donald Trump — including Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham. As regular readers may recall, almost immediately thereafter, the South Carolinian’s lawyers said Graham didn’t intend to honor the legal summons.

What followed was a series of court cases in which the GOP lawmaker fought tooth and nail to avoid testifying in the case. As NBC News reported, Graham’s efforts keep failing.

3) Steve Bannon will be sentenced Friday for flouting House Jan 6. panel

NPR reports Facebook’s third trending story:

Former Trump political adviser Steve Bannon heads to a federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., Friday, where he’ll be sentenced for criminal contempt of Congress.

Bannon flouted demands for documents and testimony from the panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Lawmakers on the House Select Committee wanted to know why he said a day before the siege that “all hell is going to break loose tomorrow.”

4) Landscapers find car buried decades ago in the yard of San Francisco Bay area home

NBC News reports Facebook’s fourth trending story:

A car was found buried Thursday in the yard of a home in the affluent town of Atherton in the San Francisco Bay Area, police said.

Landscapers working in the yard discovered the car around 8:50 a.m. It had been buried below 4 to 5 feet of dirt and was thought to have been there since the 1990s, police said.

5) Elon Musk plans to slash 75% of Twitter workforce: Report

The Blaze reports Facebook’s fifth trending story:

Elon Musk plans to cut nearly 75% of Twitter employees after the long-awaited deal to take over the social media company is consummated, according to a report.

Musk allegedly informed prospective investors that he plans to slash Twitter’s staff by nearly 75%, according to the Washington Post. The Tesla CEO is expected to cull Twitter’s employee count from 7,500 to 2,000, according to internal discussions and documents.

Facebook’s algorithm is allowing these headlines to trend as the top five stories, just 18 days ahead of the midterm elections, revealing the company’s intention to keep the issues that really matter out of the social media feeds of American voters.

Polls suggest that Americans are concerned with other topics. A Politico/Morning Consult poll published this week found that 93 percent of registered voters are worried about soaring inflation and the poor economy.

Here are five Breitbart headlines that could be trending on Facebook, if the company’s algorithms didn’t actively suppress the news impacting our nation.

1) Clyburn: We ‘Knew’ ‘Recovery Program’ Would Cause Inflation, ‘I Resent’ Those Who’d Rather Have Cheaper Gas than Jobs and Education

Breitbart News’ Ian Hanchett reports:

On Thursday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Jose Diaz-Balart Reports,” House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) stated that “all of us knew” prices would increase “when we put in place this recovery program. Any time you put more money into the economy, prices tend to rise.” Clyburn also stated that President Joe Biden put kids back in school and has ensured schools are “getting fixed up for climate change” and said, “I resent people who feel that we would much rather not have jobs and education so long as we can pay ten cents less for a gallon of gasoline.”

Clyburn said, “Well, let me make it very clear, all of us are concerned about these rising costs. And all of us knew this would be the case when we put in place this recovery program. Any time you put more money into the economy, prices tend to rise. And we do know that price gouging takes place. … We knew that the moment we went to aid the Ukrainians, the Russians would do what they could possibly do to undercut this administration. So, they cut this deal with the OPEC nations to reduce the production of oil so as to drive the price of gasoline up.”

2) Democrat Midterm Pitch: Republicans Want to Take Away ‘Your Girlfriend’s IUD’

Breitbart News’ Breccan F. Thies reports:

Democrats appear to have chosen abortion and contraception as their last-minute effort to materialize support ahead of the midterms.

After the overturn of infamous abortion case Roe v. Wade, Democrats including President Joe Biden have joined a rallying cry to make abortion legal nationally, emphasizing the “chaos and heartache” of not being able to kill unborn children.

3) Klain: GOP Wanted Us to Lower Gas Prices, Now They’re Saying SPR Should Be for Emergencies Only

Breitbart News’ Ian Hanchett reports:

On Thursday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain responded to criticisms by Republicans that the Strategic Petroleum Reserve should only be used for emergencies and that President Joe Biden is using it for political purposes by stating that he can’t take Republicans seriously because “we had Republicans say, hey, he needs to do something about gas prices, and then we did something about gas prices, and they’re, like, well, don’t do that.” And that Biden has been releasing from the reserve for the past year, which has lowered prices.

4) CDC Panel Unanimously Votes in Favor of Recommending Coronavirus Vaccine to Child Immunization Schedule

Breitbart News’ Hannah Bleau reports:

A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) panel on Thursday unanimously voted in favor of including the coronavirus vaccine on a child’s routine immunization schedule, stoking concerns among critics who fear states and localities will enforce the recommendation.

In a 15-0 vote, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted in favor of adding the Chinese coronavirus jab to the federal health agency’s formal list of immunization recommendations for children. It should be noted that the vaccine recommendations do not have any actual staying power, but many states and local jurisdictions have, in the past, enforced the CDC’s recommendations, as seen with universal masking throughout the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.

5) Exclusive: Konnech, Now Accused of Storing U.S. Poll Worker Data in China, Once Contracted with Pentagon to Help Soldiers Cast Ballots

Breitbart News’ Kristina Wong reports:

Konnech, the Michigan-based election software management company whose CEO was recently arrested for allegedly storing the personal data of poll workers on servers located in China, contracted with the Department of Defense to manage election logistics for service members Breitbart News has confirmed.

Eugene Yu was arrested by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on October 4th in connection with the purported theft of personally identifiable information of county poll workers whose data was allegedly discovered on servers in the People’s Republic of China. Konnech’s software, the PollChief Election Worker Management System, was used by LA County and many other counties in the United States to manage, pay and communicate with election poll workers. LA County asserts Konnech “was supposed to securely maintain the data and that only United States citizens and permanent residents have access to it,” but said that information has been discovered on Chinese servers.

Breitbart News will continue to report on Facebook’s algorithm in the lead up to the 2022 Midterm elections.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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