Facebook unveils results of its conservative bias audit

Facebook released the results of its long-awaited bias report. The roughly year-long conservative audit was conducted by former Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and his team at the law firm Covington and Burling, and it included interviews with over 130 conservative lawmakers and groups.

According to the audit, concerns expressed by conservative interviewees generally fell into following 6 categories: Content distribution and algorithms, content policies, content enforcement, ad policies, ad enforcement and workforce viewpoint diversity.

Silhouettes of laptop users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Though there wasn’t definitive conclusion on the bias front, the audit did result in a change to Facebook’s advertising policies.

Facebook will now allow ads with images of people with medical tubes. It’s a move that Kyl said in a WSJ op-ed, will make it easier to promote certain pro-life ads.

The report highlighted the position that the previous policy “resulted in the rejection of pro-life ads focused on survival stories of infants born before full-term.”

“Facebook has adjusted its enforcement of this policy to focus on prohibiting ads only when the ad shows someone in visible pain or distress or where blood and bruising is visible,” the report said.

Facebook's VP of global affairs and communications, Nick Clegg, acknowledged the ad changes in the blog post published Tuesday. He went on to say that the audit was just the “first stage of an ongoing process, and Senator Kyl and his team will report again in a few months’ time.”

Bridgette Webb is a producer at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @bridgetteAwebb.

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