Facebook’s pro-#Brexit bias

Bernd Hüttemann earlier pointed out to me that the mood section of the Facebook app for iOS has a mood “in favour of leaving the EU” but none in favour of remain. I scarcely believed it! But now I have checked and it is true. I am using an iPhone 6S, with the latest version of the Facebook app (57.0), on iOS 9.3.2. Screenshots were taken at 1530 CET, 14th June 2016.

Tap to write a status, and then tap “Feeling / Activity” (yellow icon at bottom):
IMG_1538

Then choose More (circular icon):
IMG_1539

Then scroll down to the bottom – and this is what you get!
IMG_1541

I am told this *only* works on iOS, not on Android, but I have been unable to verify that. It definitely does NOT work when accessing Facebook in my browser. Please comment below, or tweet me, if you can! A tweet explaining all of this in an infographic can be found here.

[UPDATE 1900, 14.6.16]
Now Facebook seems to have removed it. But no notification as to why…
1854-NoBrexit

[UPDATE 1130, 15.6.16]
This original bias has in the meantime been covered by The Mirror, The Guardian and Fortune.

Meanwhile a friend of mine on Facebook discovered a further bias (summarised in a Tweet here):

Write a new status, then tap “Feeling / Activity”, then tap “Supporting”
supporting

Scroll down, and you will find “Leave.EU” but no other EU connected cause in the list. “Britain Stronger in Europe” and “Vote Leave” cannot be found, even in the Search
leave

The rest of the stuff in this list *cannot* be user generated, or user-defined, because it is serving up to me – a dedicated atheist – a load of things about religion and even Afghanistan, something I have never even mentioned on Facebook
irrelevant

[UPDATE 1700, 15.6.16]
The story now covered by the BBC and Ars Technica as well.

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2 comments

  1. Charlotte

    It’s on Android too!