Meta Accused of Censoring Non-profit Newspaper

( – A nonprofit newspaper and an independent journalist released a report criticizing Facebook and accusing it of censoring postings linked to climate change.

On Thursday, the Kansas Reflector’s entire Facebook presence and links to around 6,000 articles vanished. A security alert appeared for seven hours whenever someone attempted to upload a link to Reflector.

Over seven hours, nobody on staff at Reflector had a clue as to why Meta, a tech giant that no major publisher can afford to ignore due to its control over the most popular social media sites in the world, had destroyed years’ worth of digital work and damaged the reputation of the local paper by misleading its readers into thinking that certain links contained malware.

Andy Stone, a representative for Meta, apologized and said the incident was an oversight that had nothing to do with the newspaper’s criticism. However, sharing the critical column the next day resulted in a warning that individuals had broken community norms. Journalist Marisa Kabas was among several who became suspicious.

Marisa Kabas hoped to evade Meta’s censorship by publishing the piece on her own website. Meta, on the other hand, deleted her post just as fast. Meta subsequently removed the blocks, claiming it was a security error.

Sherman Smith, editor-in-chief of the Kansas Reflector, expressed his disapproval of Meta’s failure to clarify the mistake. Particularly from influential companies like Meta, he said, openness is key. Marisa Kabas, meanwhile, expressed her worry that the pieces marked as harmful had eroded confidence.

How Meta dealt with the matter made many wonder about the influence of internet companies and online censorship. Many people have said that platforms like Facebook shouldn’t be able to filter users’ material. They demanded that Meta and comparable corporations be more open and responsible.

In a Friday piece, Sherman Smith reported that Stone wouldn’t elaborate on how the mistake happened and said there would be no further explanation.

Due to the publications’ prior designation as harmful, Kabas said the harm had already been done. The erosion of trust is a significant concern, she said.

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