Facebook cares more about scalability—that is, the ability to serve billions of users with a minimum of human labor—than it does about making the right call in every case. It would rather get lots of things wrong, but do it with a veneer of consistency and neutrality, than entertain nuance or exercise human judgment. (It would also, in the long run, prefer to do it via machine-learning software, to keep down the human headcount.) …. The exceptions arise when a particular decision arouses so much ire that the company’s leaders feel compelled to address it. When that happens—when a dispute over breastfeeding photos, or a video of a beheading, or the “napalm girl” photo, or Alex Jones rises to a certain level—the platforms face a dilemma. The goal of maintaining a consistent, one-size-fits-all rulebook comes into conflict with the goal of avoiding political controversy. In such cases, the companies have to weigh the political and reputational costs of each.
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