Did Facebook just get caught out over 'Brexit bias?'

In the US, Facebook has been hit with accusations of having a anti-conservative bias in its news coverage. In the UK, the social network stands accused of being pro-Brexit in the upcoming EU referendum.

The Brexit-related accusations came about after it was noticed that Facebook offered a ready-made status update proclaiming to be "in favour of leaving the EU", but didn’t have a balancing pro-remain option as easily accessible. Despite this, Facebook categorically denies any form of bias.

While it was possible to indicate a preference for remaining in the EU using Facebook's automated status suggestions, the pro-Brexit option was just a few clicks away and the pro-remain one had to be searched for.

In response to the criticism, Facebook has since removed the more prominent Brexit option which was originally noticed by Brussels-based writer Jon Worth, who said: "So Facebook’s iOS app allows you to express “in favour of leaving the EU” but not favour Remaining. #Brexit bias."

Contacted by the Guardian, Facebook said that anyone searching for 'EU' in the status update tool would be presented with a full listed of options, but the pre-populated list of selected statuses is controlled by what other people have been using. Regardless, 'in favor of leaving the EU' seems to have vanished as a suggested status.

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