Facebook admitted it briefly blocked links to Wikileaks files containing internal Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails. The block seems to be the result of another algorithm accident that may have incorrectly determined the links to be malicious or spam.
Facebook Chief Security Officer says the company has fixed the error, after receiving heavy criticism from WikiLeaks.
This isn’t the first time Facebook has accidentally blocked high profile news events on the platform. Earlier this month, Facebook briefly removed video showing Philando Castile dying, covered in blood, moments after being shot by a police officer. Prior to that, the company admitted to removing a meme circulating about convicted Stanford rapist Brock Turner.
Facebook wants to be a source for news, but the company’s algorithm keeps “accidentally” removing or restricting access to news stories on its platform. Not to mention that the company’s trending news bar, which is meant to surface major news events, has been dogged by criticisms of bias and the revelation that human “curators”—not an algorithm as Facebook had claimed—were injecting and suppressing stories.
We’ve reached out to Facebook and will update this story when we hear back.
Update 7/25/2016 8:18 pm EST: In a statement provided to Gizmodo, a representative said “Like other services, our anti-spam systems briefly flagged links to these documents as unsafe. We quickly corrected this error on Saturday evening.”