Facebook announces major plan to censor news content
13 January 2018
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Friday that the world’s largest social network is initiating major changes aimed at deprioritizing news and political content on individual users’ news feeds in favor of “personal moments.” The change is the most significant effort to date to censor online information.
Facebook is currently a major source of news for hundreds of millions of people throughout the world. The number of global Facebook users has increased from 100 million in 2008 to more than 2 billion. According to a Pew Research poll last November, 45 percent of Americans use Facebook for news content, more than any other social media platform. It has become a significant mechanism for the organization of protests and the spread of information outside of the control of the major media conglomerates. It is this that Facebook, working closely with the major capitalist states, wants to end.
In his post announcing the decision, Zuckerberg said that the company is “making a major change to how we build Facebook … from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”
The manifesto is filled with the type of Orwellian language characteristic of an authoritarian regime. The changes are motivated, Zuckerberg explains, by “a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being.” By demoting news content and emphasizing posts from friends and family, Facebook will ensure that its users “feel more connected and less lonely,” and the overall effect will be “good for our well-being.”
In other words, Facebook knows what is good for you, and it is not news and information about the…