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Friday Evening Owls: With code modifications, Fb helped right-wing publishers and throttled the left

In fact, we've now learned that executives have even been shown a slide show highlighting the impact of the second iteration on about a dozen specific publishers – and Mother jones was singled out as one who would suffer while the conservative side the Daily wire was identified as one that would benefit from it. These changes were driven by Republican activists working in Facebook's Washington office under Vice President for Global Public Policy Joel Kaplan (who later made headlines support his friend Brett Kavanaugh during the confirmation hearings). (…)

(Facebook spokesman Andy) Stone wouldn't comment on the slide deck. According to someone who saw it, it contained bar graphs that indicate how much reach various news organizations would gain or lose under the revised algorithm. A diagram showed that Daily Wire, a website under the direction of Conservative expert Ben Shapiro that is routinely shared false claims and malicious ideas (Being transgender is a "delusion", abortion providers are "assassins", US Representative Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Is not "loyal to America"). Another diagram showed Mother Jones, whose rigorously fact-checked investigative work has won many of journalism's highest accolades, including, just months before that Facebook launch, magazine of the year in the industry-standard version of the Academy Awards. (…)

To be very clear: Facebook has its monopoly Power to boost and stifle the content of certain publishers – the essence of every Big Brother fear of the platforms, and something Facebook and other companies have strictly denied for years. (…)

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BLAST FROM THE PAST

At Daily Kos that day in 2011– "Flexible" in terms of federalism: Republicans and "State rights":

No doubt you've heard of the Republicans' conservative call for "limited federal government" and their deep respect for the "rights of states." If you catch them at the right moment, you might even hear them of the Civil War in the sense of a struggle to protect the "rights of states," as Jefferson Davis himself repeats:

It was a conviction of urgent need – it was a conviction that we in the Union should be deprived of the rights our fathers left us – that drove Mississippi to its present decision. She has proclaimed the theory that all human beings are created free and equal, and this has formed the basis for an attack on their social institutions; and the sacred Declaration of Independence was used to uphold the position of racial equality. They have no relation to the slave (.)

Yes, the "lost cause" of "state rights" burns to this day, at least when it is expedient. But what if it isn't? Well, like Roger Taney himself, whose trampling on "state rights" in Dred Scott is an often overlooked aspect of the case (one of the reasons for the decision would have been a state's inability to outlaw slavery). Conservative Republicans are more than capable of moving from deep concern for the rights of states to deep trust in the federal government. For example, consider the Republican proposal to reform state tort law through a federal edict Law on the Protection of Access to Medical Care (…)

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