Meta allegedly censored a non-profit newspaper and an independent journalist who opposed it

Meta banned a critical report about the company that was published in a newspaper on Facebook and its other social sites for a period of several hours. This sparked a backlash that became more intense after the company appeared to restrict links to the website of an independent journalist who republished the report.

On Thursday morning, users realized that all links to the non-profit newspaper the Kansas Reflector had been flagged as a cybersecurity concern, and their postings were removed. This was the beginning of the drama that ensued. The newspaper reported that almost seven hours later, the majority of its links had been restored, with the exception of one. The column in question had been critical of Facebook and accused the social media platform of censoring views that were relevant to climate change.

Thursday was the day that Meta issued an apology to the Reflector and its readers for what the company’s communications head, Andy Stone, referred to as “an error that had nothing to do with the Reflector’s recent criticism of Meta.” On Friday, however, users who sought to post the piece on Facebook, Instagram, or Threads were presented with a warning and informed that their actions were in violation of the community guidelines. In light of the fact that Marisa Kabas, a New York-based independent journalist, found this to be suspicious, she approached the Reflector in an effort to obtain permission to post the column’s text on her own website, which is called the Handbasket.

In an interview with CNN on Friday, Kabas stated, “I thought it would be a cool experiment.” At approximately one o’clock in the afternoon Eastern Time, she uploaded the article on her own website “in an attempt to sidestep Meta’s censorship,” as she stated in the preamble to the column. Following that, she also published her post on Threads. A couple of minutes later, Kabas informed CNN that he received a notification that the website had been identified and removed due to the presence of dangerous information.

The post made by Kabas was removed from all Meta platforms for a period of many hours on Friday. As well as that, she stated that all of the links to her website were banned for around two hours. She stated that all of her connections had been restored by the late afternoon on Friday. A security problem, which also resulted in the blocking of links to The Handbasket and the nonprofit news aggregator site News From The States, was the cause of the restricted links, according to Stone, who stated this in a post on Threads that was published on Friday. According to what he wrote, “the blocks that were applied incorrectly have now been lifted.” Without a sure, this is extremely frustrating, and we extend our sincere apologies to everyone who has been affected by it.

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