At issue is a secret internal document that was among the trove of documents hacked from Facebook and exposed by the Observer and The Guardian. According to the New York Times, the document shows Facebook considered a page of Republican congressmen as “interesting enough” to post and restored the page, which advocates for full tax reform, after it was removed.
There’s an element of the document leaking that echoes WikiLeaks and is troubling. A man, Cesar Sánchez, leaked the documents to provoke governmental and independent scrutiny of Facebook and its practices. CNN reports that Sánchez was hired by Republican Party operatives before he opened himself up to the website as a whistleblowing outlet.
The thing that makes this one particularly troubling is the scale of the attacks. The leaked documents show Facebook considered posts from Republican lawmakers “interesting enough” to post, despite deleting them in the past.
Another concern is that Facebook deleted posts at the end of each day, so the company could burn through its cache of content at a faster rate. The leaked document indicates that Facebook also paid data scientists to skew users’ responses to political posts. Other examples are photos from mid-day protests against a government in North Korea.
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