Facebook’s Censorship Problem Is What Happens When a Tech Company Controls the News

Facebook makes editorial decisions that affect its presentation of news through its “news” (?) feed. But Facebook is in the business to make money for Facebook, and the trending topics feed is just a tool to keep people on Facebook. Someone needs to assign Facebook a faculty adviser.

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In the space of a single day, Facebook has managed to:

  • Draw condemnation from a Norwegian news organization for censoring a famous work of photojournalism from the Facebook News Feed.
  • Delete a Facebook post by the prime minister of Norway in which she reposted the photo and criticized Facebook for its censorship.
  • Publicly defend its decision to censor the photo.
  • Change its mind after a torrent of criticism and pledge to reinstate the deleted posts after all.

Did I mention that Facebook also promoted in its trending news section on Friday a story claiming that the Sept. 11 attacks were an inside job? And then, as “a temporary step,” removed the entire trending topic relating to the upcoming 9/11 anniversary? —Slate