Facebook is the rare company that has managed to anger and alienate both sides of the political aisle, and that divide reared its ugly head again this week when the social media giant acted quickly to limit the spread of a controversial New York Post story about Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
According to Facebook, it limited the sharing of the report because its contents are unverified, though the company did say it was eligible for fact-checking by the platform’s partners. However, conservative users are up in arms that the company is censoring political thought. The result: Facebook once again finds itself at the center of a political firestorm that it created for itself.
“This story is a microcosm of something that I think we can expect to happen a lot over the next few weeks and, I think, demonstrates why platforms having clear policies that they are prepared to stick to is really important,” online speech expert Evelyn Douek told NPR. “It’s really unclear if they have stepped in exceptionally in this case and, if they have, why they’ve done so. That inevitably leads to exactly the kind of outcry that we’ve seen, which is that they’re doing it for political reasons and because they’re biased.”
As usual, Facebook is damned if it does, damned if it doesn’t — and a large portion of users are certain to be left angry and confused.
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