Facebook has acknowledged it’s blocking links to WikiLeaks’ DNC email dump, though (again) hasn’t explained why.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 24, 2016
User SwiftOnSecurity also took Facebook to task, which prompted a response from Facebook’s Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos.
But we don’t know why Facebook took issue with the links. It’s possible its algorithm incorrectly identified them as malicious, but it’s another negative mark on the company’s record nonetheless. WikiLeaks is a known entity, not some torrent dumping ground. There was clearly no need in them blocking the links.
Previously, Facebook was discovered to have removed a Live video of Philando Castille dying, and our posts of the Bastille Day aftermath were scrubbed from the newswire. Its news bar has also come under fire for being biased just ask Milo.
Facebook can call the issues disparate, but they’re not — not to users. At some point, the ignorance and blind claims of ‘damn that algorithm’ have to end. If Facebook wants us to turn to it for news and treat it seriously, then it has to be much more open.
The WikiLeaks link issue has reportedly been fixed, which is great — but also not really the point. The fact links to the archive was blocked at all suggests there’s a very tight reign on what’s allowed on Facebook across the board, and that’s a problem. If Facebook wants to be the town square for the internet they seriously need to adjust their behavior.
Social media as a whole really needs to stop with the blocking of links and the censorship of news posts. Clearly, there is an agenda at play. Algorithms do not write themselves. Developers do not take it upon themselves to write code that just blocks certain types of politically charged sites. Those decisions are made at the executive level. It is no secret that Facebook’s COO is a good friend of the Clintons and was employed by them as a staffer during Mr. Clinton’s administration. If Facebook wants to be trusted then they need to clean their own house of news story censorship.