They are NOT equivalent! One is a cult that promotes terrorism the other one is a environmentalist group that calls for civil disobedience. One calls for the kidnapping and assassination of politicians, the other one for walk-ins on roads to get media attention. One calls for a war on race the other on improving the environment.
Both are in the "extremes" of some political compass but are not equivalent by any sane interpretation.
"Enlighted Centrism" is a recurring joke. Facebook is just punching down on the working class and the left because they do not respond to the citizens but to other mega-rich people and corporations.
I cannot wait for Facebook to be strongly regulated, and to be forbidded to run an advertisement company with data stolen from its users.
This seems to have a pretty long tradition in the US, it seems like the political or ethical version of what often happens in science discourse, where creationism and evolution are treated as equally reasonable debate positions and so on.
The only yardstick seems to be "how many people are offended" rather than standing by scientific principle or the standards and rules of their platform. If 90% of misinformation and inhumane content comes out of one political camp it should make the people in that camp think, not Facebook.
I don't want them censoring anyone if they're not then held liable for the content they do publish. If they're going to exercise editorial powers, let them take editorial responsibility. This is not an option they're being given. Instead they've been told that the biggest offense they can commit is failing to delete.
That is how some people think, they are demonstrably wrong. There are things that are true and things that are false, not everything is an opinion.
The scientific method helps to see that your comment, that is a real feeling of many people, is not true.
That people is for sure sharing comments like yours in Facebook, and Facebook is promoting that comments for "engagement" shows how much Facebook needs to be regulated. Splitting Facebook and regulating it is not going to solve the problem overnight, but it is going to be a good step in the right direction.
Facebook has been making life miserable for everyone by being entirely unpredictable in its ad provision and targeting. The rules and algorithms change willy-nilly, and reliable engagement is nigh impossible, and even more so when the media landscape of the left is fragmented across many separate sources and the media of the right is very centralized.
If we could see aggregate numbers for left/right, we'd get better answers. But somehow I doubt they can or will make those numbers known.
"In late 2017, when Facebook tweaked its newsfeed algorithm to minimize the presence of political news, policy executives were concerned about the outsize impact of the changes on the right, including the Daily Wire, people familiar with the matter said. Engineers redesigned their intended changes so that left-leaning sites like Mother Jones were affected more than previously planned, the people said. Mr. Zuckerberg approved the plans. “We did not make changes with the intent of impacting individual publishers,” a Facebook spokesman said."
Bias doesn't necessarily make the news wrong but it does mean the news is framed in a way to benefit one particular group or another.
It's not clear if they are quoting the engineers here, but that sounds like an individual publisher to me.
>policy executives were concerned about the outsize impact of the changes on the right, including the Daily Wire
This could be reworded: the initial implementation primarily punished right-wing news organizations, especially the Daily Wire, but someone noticed and complained
>Engineers redesigned their intended changes so that left-leaning sites like Mother Jones were affected more than previously planned
Engineers decided that it would be good to censor far-left propaganda outfits like Mother Jones as well, if they were going to censor the Right, since someone complained, instead of only censoring the Right, so they changed their algorithm to be somewhat more critical of e.g. Mother Jones than the original algorithm, leaving the final implementation ... a black box that censors some political voices and not others.
Fast forward three years, to this week. Consider the NY Post Hunter Biden corruption story that hopefully you've heard about by now. Now it's clear Facebook and Twitter have no problem blocking an "individual publisher" founded in 1801 in the final weeks before an election, when anything is permitted to stop the "fascist" Donald Trump from winning another election, if said newspaper publishes information that might make Joe Biden look bad.
There is credible information that this information is a part of a Russian disinformation effort to influence the campaign.
Now whether it's true or not is irrelevant. If the FBI has warned this information is suspect and is actively investigating then it is only appropriate for Facebook to err on the side of caution. Especially given we are weeks from an election.
I went looking for this and found this recent CNN article that looked promising.  But it does not mention any evidence (credible or otherwise) tying the laptop to Russians. It notes various weaknesses in the story, most notably that the emails were in image form, so contained no headers. But even if the emails were completely fabricated, that doesn't implicate Russians. Can you point me to the credible information you referenced?
Have you made this up in advance to justify the censorship, or do you have a reference?
No that is extremely relevant, for it to be "disinformation" it would need to be false
If the information is true, then the public should be informed about it, at the point the source is irrelevant.
I cant believe you discount or ignore corruption because was reveled by "evil Russia"
Some how I believe if the Russians where talking about Trump your sensibilities would be much different.. Not that I believe this NY Post story is some Russian plot because I dont,
You have to elect them before you know anything about them...
Seems like a good way to get the best leaders
At this point we know that Facebook has the potential to significantly influence political discourse with the choices it makes. The fact that those choices are hidden is a problem but a bigger problem is the influence itself. No privately held company should ever be allowed this level of (potential/actual) influence on political discourse.
Ie perhaps it's more that people are not that interested in the left (not surprising since it's not a centrist viewpoint) if they can't give the same kind of concrete proofs.
The bigger story here is that these brainwashing machines are susceptible to being manipulated by their owners to meet their own subjective needs.
It gets even worse, because these are for-profit companies, the brain washing machines are being rented out to the highest bidder.
Even worse than that the owners of these machines are being pressured and manipulated by others, in power, to affect outcomes that, as it turns out, are probably not in the best interest of the public at large.
Is it really profitable to have this information flow controller? Don't they just want to sell ads?
Look, I know it's not that simple. But why not do this?
Ofc, once you can remove classic Viagra ads, you established your ability to control content to some degree. From that point on, you cannot really assert that you are a common carrier.
You could assert your allegiance to the 1st amendment, though.
The platform that chooses not to de-platform its worst users has lower fitness than the platform that goes along with it. Would you rather your ad revenue look like that of Twitter or that of Gab?
So they get pushed into this position where they're stuck at the border of acceptable where half the people think they're censoring and half think it's only right.
Take for example Facebook's top ten for the last ten days, per the New York Times' Kevin Roose's tracker. These are self reported by Facebook's CrowdTangle:
Today, 10/16, most of the news is explicitly partisan and right leaning, one post by Dan Rather: https://twitter.com/FacebooksTop10/status/131751290168337612...
10/15: similar mix, https://twitter.com/FacebooksTop10/status/131711759703326720...
It goes on and on. Scroll through the Facebook Top 10 account and you'll see right leaning, sometimes far right pundits, at greater volume and (if these links follow the typical power distribution) far, far greater attention and traffic than any even moderate or neutral news source, let alone anyone comparably left wing.
All of the top 10 links shared on FB in a week typically consists of NPR/NYT/TMZ etc. Recently the left leaning website MoveOn was in the top 3 (source: https://twitter.com/tomgara/status/1310314212078620680?s=21).
Shapiro or Bongino are never near the top 10 in terms of link engagement - the metric they do well on is sum total page engagement. Which makes sense - anecdotally, most of me and my left leaning millennial peers are getting our online political engagement from Twitter and Instagram. AOC is a sensation on Insta, Bongino is not.
I see you’re relying on Kevin Roose for your information - unfortunately he’s an absolute spigot of misinformation. I made the same mistake in the past, until I took a deeper look into these issues, and found most of what he says to be totally wrong. I hope you, and others, will reconsider taking him at face value in the future.
It should still concern you that no Facebook page rivals these right wing pages. Just because a given URL might break into the top 10 URLs for a day doesn't affect that these pages dominate news feed volume.
If you go to Dan Bongino's Facebook page, you'll see why his page doesn't show up in the by-URL analysis: most of his content is not links to external content, but in-Facebook content. So I'm not sure why it's "misinformation" to point that his page has enormous amounts of traffic, and I think it's misleading to say that it doesn't because grouping by a metric that excludes that traffic.
It seems pretty unfair to argue, "If you just aggregate the data by a dimension that's null for these right wing pages, you'll find they tend to disappear!"
Like splitting the vote, or how Muhammed (and alternative spellings) is the most popular baby name in the UK: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/muhammed-rea...
You would have to look at the total story popularity, not just the top 10, to make any kind of conclusion.
I'm sorry, did we already forget what Facebook censored this past week?
Instead, simply not getting sucked into this game, and instead putting out other stories or plans, like how one will deal with COVID, or the economy, or our allies, helps suffocate the story.
The latter is a wiser move, especially given Trump and co's like of conspiracy talk.
Would you mind reviewing the site guidelines? Note these ones:
"Comments should get more thoughtful and substantive, not less, as a topic gets more divisive."
"Please don't fulminate. Please don't sneer, including at the rest of the community."
"Please don't use uppercase for emphasis. If you want to emphasize a word or phrase, put asterisks around it and it will get italicized."
"Please don't use Hacker News for political or ideological battle. It tramples curiosity."
You're absolutely right, I have been tense and short-sighted, and have been in complete and blatant violation of each of the first 4 points you mentioned.
I will take care to be more restrained with my emotion and contribute more productively and with substance.
However I must say I do not know how to react to that last line, and I propose that this guideline is well-intentioned but too broad. I grew up (and I'm sure most HN posters did) at a time when we considered "politics" as something that is totally distinct from science and technology. What attracted us to tech was the meritocracy, the purity of ideas, the ability to pursue and explore that curiousity and creativity.
Yet...the last decade has revealed at least some new truths that responsible technologists can ill-afford to ignore:
1) Technology cannot be disassociated from politics if it is wielded for political purpose.
2) Science has become politicized, and subjects like "climate change", "alternative energy", etc, are actively stifled for political reasons, so cannot be explored or developed without acknowledging their political counterarguments.
3) Ignoring political subjects that are independent of technology and therefore may seem frivolous or redundant to some people is itself a privilige. For example, US immigration or LGBT policies directly feed into the talent at US tech companies can hire, the culture they can sustain, and that manifests in the technological choices and outputs of these companies. This is why by and large, "diversity and inclusion" topics become such hotbeds of discussion on this site.
So while I acknowledge your overall broad point and will strive to do better, I do think it is appropriate for me to comment or call out certain "political" or "idiological" points in the context of the discussion that is being had. For example, I do think there is evidence that the most highly-upvoted perspectives on the subject of Twitter/Facebook censorship are themselves political/idiological. The most heavily upvoted comments call out censorship of right-leaning news while not acknowledging the role of right-leaning misinformation under the guise of news. They claim to hold an absolutist position on free speech yet denigrate "cancel culture" (which is a form of free speech that has the potential to be harmful to societal majority in-groups vs protected hate speech that is only harmful to minority out-groups).
I absolutely seek out those top-voted comments that are stating an idiological position and am looking to provide a counterargument.
I have not done so with appropriate substance or care, and will do so from now on. But I cannot and will not in good conscience avoid those subjects as they are the most important issues of our time.
The important word in that guideline is not "political" but "battle". When people are just trying to defeat enemies, that has nothing in common with curious conversation. Worse, it destroys curious conversation (as the guideline points out). For example, in battle, one must repeat the same points over and over—repetition is key to victory. But repetition kills curiosity (https://hn.algolia.com/?query=curiosity%20repetition%20by:da...). Worse, in battle the goal is not to explore the world or think out loud, but to overpower someone else. Communication becomes weaponized and rhetorical. This leads to entirely different discussion, and it leads people to attack each other in nasty ways that destroy community. If we don't moderate this, flames will take over the site completely.
The intention on HN is not to exclude political topics but to include them, when they're interesting, in a way that is consistent with curiosity, which is what we're trying to optimize this site for (https://hn.algolia.com/?query=curiosity%20optimiz%20by:dang&...). We need HN users to stay within curious mode and forego battle mode.
I've written about how we moderate politics on HN many times, and the questions and answers have been pretty stable for a long time. You'll find past explanations here: https://hn.algolia.com/?query=political%20overlap%20by:dang&.... If anyone has a better idea about how we should approach this, I'd love to hear it. But please make sure that you've familiarized yourself with the material first, because if it's something simple like "just ban politics" or "just allow everything", I've already answered many times why that won't work.
'Fact-checkers' can be biased in 'selectively' fact-checking claims made by either person and not checking 'ALL' their claims. Look at all sides of the political spectrum, uncover the full context that some may deliberately omit and then come to your own conclusion of the actual picture. 
If they cared about ethics they wouldn’t have the supply chains or be in the markets they are.
Of course they cozied up to Trump, why wouldn’t they? The only reason Facebook is pretending to take democracy and truth seriously now, is because they have data that tells them they need new political friends post November.
At best it shows that individuals donate based on personal political ideology, and that tech hub demographics favor the left over the right, whereas the companies themselves donate in order to further their business interests, rather than a politically activist agenda.
I take it you're unaware of the existence of unions or feminists or people of color or the disabled, then, because plenty of industries have had their share of politically active employees.
There are some interesting exceptions.
Thousands of employees had objected to Google's involvement with Project Maven. Project got cancelled.
And how about $5 on "how to drink water in public" while we're at it?
It's difficult to imagine conspiracy there, friend.
It's not hard to imagine how to talk policy to Trump. "Wow, you are the best president ever. So smart and strong. Also very good looking. I will hurt your enemies if you give me a tax break."
Make sure you get paid in advance, of course.
On another note, this is one of the places where things are still ok. Some media platforms I gave up on to keep my sanity.
P.S. Of course I didn't mean that HN is a small child.
Certainly, I remember that "Rationalist" blogger thread, Scott something, that shut down his own blog for a while and that blew up here with over 1000 comments going as far as finding it appropriate the harass the journalist in question and demanding some sort of license that could be revoked (or similar) for journalists in general. Not to mention the recent thread about booting out holocaust denier's bullshit - also over 1000 comments.