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Meta temporarily blocks critical local News

Meta temporarily blocks critical local News

Meta initially blocked, then apologized for blocking, a local news organization that published a column criticizing Facebook.

The Kansas Reflector, a nonprofit news outlet, recently released an op-ed critiquing Facebook for rejecting ads promoting a documentary on climate change. Soon after, both the Reflector and its readers noticed that links from the paper were not functional on both Facebook and Threads, sparking concerns that Meta was suppressing criticism of its platforms.

In response, The Handbasket republished the op-ed under the headline, “Here’s the column Meta doesn’t want you to see,” but links to this site were also blocked, incorrectly labeled as spam or malicious content.

Meta later clarified that this was a mistake and not an intentional block to prevent sharing the column. A security error caused the blocking of links to the Kansas Reflector, News From The States, and The Handbasket.

Meta’s spokesperson, Andy Stone, acknowledged the error on Threads, mentioning that the blocks have been lifted from all three domains, although it may take some time for the system to fully restore all links. Stone apologized for the inconvenience and assured me that they would monitor the situation.

While some may view this as a misunderstanding, it’s important to note that Facebook faces criticism regularly, often more directly than the Reflector’s column, without being blocked by Meta. Regardless, the column is now shareable again on Facebook for those interested.