Facebook announced this week that it will add political bias training to its employee orientation following the firestorm last month over allegations that Facebook employees deliberately suppressed conservative news stories in the site’s Trending Topics feed.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, announced the change in an interview with prominent conservative leader Arthur Brooks, president of the think tank American Enterprise Institute.
According to The Hill, many Silicon Valley companies like Facebook have stepped up bias training in recent years because of a lack of diversity in the industry’s hiring.
“We think a lot about diversity,” Sandberg said in the announcement. “It’s something our industry has struggled with. We’ve struggled with. We have a managing bias class that all of our leaders and a lot of our employees have taken. We focused on age bias, racial bias, gender bias, nation bias, and we’re going to add in a scenario now on political bias.”
Interestingly, Sandberg also said that Facebook conducted a “thorough investigation” into the claim of liberal bias, and did not find that one existed within the company. That may be true, but if Facebook implemented political bias training in the first place, the site must have thought it was an issue worth addressing. Either that, or the social media giant simply wants to quiet claims of censorship and work on repairing its relationship with one half of the political spectrum.