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Facebook reportedly choked traffic for left-leaning news sites including Mother Jones

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Facebook designed changes to its news feed algorithm in 2017 to reduce the visibility of left-leaning news sites like Mother Jones on its platform, the Wall Street Journal reported, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg had personally approved the plans.

But Mother Jones editorial director for growth and strategy Ben Dreyfuss wrote that in multiple meetings with Facebook executives in 2017 and 2018, they reassured him that while traffic might go down, “not in a way that favored or disfavored any single publication or class of publisher.”

According to the WSJ, some policy executives at Facebook voiced concerns in 2017 about pending changes to the news feed algorithm that they thought might have a larger impact on right-leaning news sites like the Daily Wire. So engineers made changes to the algorithm that would have a bigger impact on traffic to left-leaning sites.

A Facebook spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal “We did not make changes with the intent of impacting individual publishers.”

In 2019, Mother Jones editors wrote that the site had seen a sharp decline in its Facebook audience, which translated to a loss of around $600,000 over 18 months. CEO Monika Bauerlein tweeted Friday that that decline meant the organization couldn’t fill positions or pursue some projects. She added that she and others at Mother Jones didn’t think the site was being specifically targeted: “one reason this is so enraging is that I’ve so long insisted on giving Facebook some benefit of the doubt. I was convinced we were a random casualty of their broader trajectory, a fly on their windshield. But it’s always, always worse.”

To say that Facebook has a strained relationship with the news business is an understatement. Its ad business and the constant tweaks to its news feed have had a direct economic impact on the industry, particularly local news.

Its attempts to partner with the journalism industry have for the most part, been spectacular failures; there was the Google AMP competitor Instant Articles and the huge push for original video that resulted in mass layoffs at digital media companies. It turned out Facebook had inflated its video metrics. In 2016, Facebook was accused of having anti-conservative bias in the articles it promoted in its Trending Topics section, which led to the removal of the section altogether, and opened the door to all kinds of questionable content from disreputable sources.

Mother Jones, an independent nonprofit site founded in 1976, has led numerous investigations into political corruption, private prisons, and the environment. In September 2012, it was Mother Jones that broke the story about Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” remarks. A video showed the GOP presidential nominee speaking at a private fundraiser saying that 47 percent of people who supported President Obama paid no income tax and would support Obama no matter what. Romney said the people were “dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them.” Romney later said his comments were “completely wrong.”

Facebook didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment from The Verge on Saturday.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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