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Happy birthday to … Facebook? OK, it’s not every day that we celebrate a business turning 20. But it’s not every day that one of the most-influential social media companies in the world marks two decades impacting our lives.
Note, I didn’t say benefitting our lives. Facebook, and its younger sibling Instagram, are definitely a mixed bag. They have built careers, contributed to the global conversation, given platforms to more than 2 billion people and introduced a censorship regimen to the entire world.
Any time major issues occur, Facebook has been on the front lines of controlling what we say about them – COVID-19, the presidential election, transgenderism and even Israel’s war against Hamas.
Last May, journalist Matt Taibbi produced what he called the “Top 50 Organizations to Know in the Censorship-Industrial Complex.” The report highlighted the influence that government, foundations, academia, fact-checkers and others had on Big Tech, including Facebook and Instagram. Taibbi complained on X/Twitter that Facebook censored the report.
It’s impossible to know how many users experience censorship on Facebook. Posts disappear or get restricted. Even users sometimes don’t know what post was