The Facebook executive who oversees the Trending Topics product for the social media giant is a big Hillary Clinton donor, public records show. Facebook is currently under fire for deliberately blacklisting and censoring conservative outlets and news topics. According to a former “news curator” tasked with managing the Trending Topics feed, Facebook’s deliberate blacklisting of legitimately trending topics “had a chilling effect on conservative news.”
Facebook claims it has “rigorous guidelines” to prevent political bias from corrupting its news aggregation service, but Tom Stocky, the Facebook executive in charge of the Trending Topics product, has a long history of progressive political activism. In October of 2015, for example, Stocky and his wife, a Google executive, donated $5,400 to the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics:
In 2012, Stocky approvingly posted print and video excerpts of President Barack Obama’s anti-gun speech following the Newtown shootings. Stocky liked a video posted on Facebook by Vox of Obama condemning people who wished to tighten U.S. border security in the wake of the terrorist attacks in France in which several terrorists posed as refugees to gain access to the country.
In one Facebook post following the Paris attacks, Stocky declared that the purpose of the attacks was not to murder large numbers of people, but to get people to react to them.
“Their goal with these terrorist acts is to incite a strong reaction, specifically a strong reaction that includes persecuting Muslims,” Stocky wrote.
He later declared in the same post, without providing any evidence, that the terrorists aren’t Muslim at all.
“These terrorists today are invoking Islam while killing people,” Stocky said. “None of them are actually Muslim.”
Contrary to Stocky’s assertion, recent polls show that tens of millions of Muslims worldwide believe that violent attacks such as suicide bombings can be justified:
In 2013, Stocky posted a comment on his Facebook page praising Wikipedia for breathlessly following the gay marriage debate.
“It’s pretty awesome to watch Wikipedia update in real time,” Stocky wrote, “especially when each update improves the flatly-worded description of history-making, about-damn-time equality.”
On June 26, 2015, the day the Supreme Court released its Obergefell decision declaring that the Constitution requires gay marriage to be legal, Stocky posted an article from the New York Times about the progression of gay marriage laws in the U.S. with the statement, “The map starts improving in 2004 and then finally hits full awesome in 2015, today. #MarriageEquality” Stocky also regularly changed his Facebook profile photo to express solidarity various various LGBT causes.
One of the photos features Stocky wearing a “Love Conquers Hate” gay rights shirt which implies that defending natural marriage is tantamount to hate.
Stocky also found himself in the news in 2013 after he published an article about his courageous choice to take four months of paternity leave after his daughter was born. Stocky later complained to the New York Times that it was unfair of people to take notice of his lengthy paternity leave but not his wife’s maternity leave.