Facebook Did Not Censor a Critical Column, but It Still Erred kansasreflector.com

Sherman Smith, Kansas Reflector:

Facebook’s unrefined artificial intelligence misclassified a Kansas Reflector article about climate change as a security risk, and in a cascade of failures blocked the domains of news sites that published the article, according to technology experts interviewed for this story and Facebook’s public statements.

Blake E. Reid:

The punchline of this story was, is, and remains not that Meta maliciously censored a journalist for criticizing them, but that it built a fundamentally broken service for ubiquitously intermediating global discourse at such a large scale that it can’t even cogently explain how the service works.

This was always a sufficient explanation for the Reflector situation, and one that does not require any level of deliberate censorship or conspiracy for such a small target. Yet, it seems as though many of those who boosted the narrative that Facebook blocks critical reporting cannot seem to shake that. I got the above link from Marisa Kabas, who commented:

They’re allowing shitty AI to run their multi-billion dollar platforms, which somehow knows to block content critical of them as a cybersecurity threat.

That is not an accurate summary of what has transpired, especially if you read it with the wink-and-nod tone I imply from its phrasing. There is plenty to criticize about the control Meta exercises and the way in which it moderates its platforms without resorting to nonsense.