Facebook has acknowledged it blocked links to WikiLeaks’ DNC email dump, though (again) hasn’t explained why.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 24, 2016
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User SwiftOnSecurity also took Facebook to task, which prompted a response from Facebook’s Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos.
— Alex Stamos (@alexstamos) July 24, 2016
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.
Previously, Facebook was discovered to have removed a Live video of Philando Castille dying, and posts of the Bastille Day aftermath were scrubbed from the newswire. Its news bar has also come under fire for being biased.
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.