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RNC Chairman Reince Priebus demands that Facebook answer censorship allegations

Republicans are reacting to a Gizmodo story that Facebook routinely suppressed conservative news.

Presidential Hopefuls Attend Southern Republican Leadership Conference Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is demanding that Facebook answer allegations of censoring conservative news on the social media platform.

Priebus cited a report in Gizmodo that said Facebook editors routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from its trending news section. The publication cited anonymous former news curators who said they artificially manipulated the stories shown to the site's 167 million American viewers — and avoided coverage from conservative outlets such as Breitbart or the Washington Examiner.

"It is beyond disturbing to learn that this power is being used to silence viewpoints and stories that don't fit someone else's agenda," the GOP wrote in a blog post labeled "liberal bias." "Censorship in any form should give Americans who value their fundamental freedoms great pause."

The GOP invited people to add their names to a list of those demanding that Facebook "stop censoring conservatives."

Facebook has already denied the allegations, but that doesn't seem to be what Priebus is looking for. He took his protest to Twitter.

Earlier on Monday, the company said its rigorous guidelines are designed to ensure editorial neutrality.

"These guidelines do not permit the suppression of political perspectives," Facebook said in a statement to Recode. "Nor do they permit the prioritization of one viewpoint over another or one news outlet over another. These guidelines do not prohibit any news outlet from appearing in Trending Topics."

We have reached out to Facebook for comment on Priebus's demands.

Update: Facebook issued another lengthy statement on this whole issue Monday night, which you can read about here. It did not specifically mention Priebus's petition, though.

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