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Facebook announces latest step in censorship campaign, prioritizing “local news”

Facebook announces latest step in censorship campaign, prioritizing “local news”

By Will Morrow
6 February 2018 from wsws.org

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced January 29 that the social media platform will prioritize news from “local sources” in the News Feed displayed to users. The announcement is the third in a creeping roll-out of updates announced by Facebook since the start of the year aimed at censoring online information.

On January 12, Facebook reported that it would deprioritize news and political content—that is, display them less often—in favor of “personal moments.” One week later, Zuckerberg announced that of the news articles that are shown to users, the News Feed will prioritize those published by what it called “trustworthy” sources, meaning pro-establishment outlets such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Zuckerberg’s post announcing the most recent change made little effort to conceal its political motivation. It would serve to “turn down the temperature on the more divisive issues and instead focus on concrete local issues,” he wrote, so that the population can “all make progress together.”

Presumably this means more information about school bake sales and sporting events, and less about the Trump administration, the global crisis of capitalism, and the growing danger of world war.

Zuckerberg apparently regrets the great technological advance that created the “World Wide Web” and made it possible for people on every continent to communicate with each other rapidly and without corporate and government censors controlling what they say. He prefers the posture of the ostrich with its head stuck firmly in the ground.

The post is filled with the Orwellian newspeak used to describe all of Facebook’s censorship measures. Walling users off from being able to read about events outside their immediate vicinity will help “build community—both on and offline,” and ensure that Facebook “isn’t just fun but also good for your well-being and for society.”

read more:

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/02/06/face-f06.html




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