Adam Mosseri, head of Facebook-owned Instagram, defended the social network’s decision to include Breitbart News among 200 other trusted sources on the platform’s soon-to-be-released News Tab.
Responding to outrage from left-wing journalists at Facebook’s decision, Mosseri said that any ban on Breitbart News would be “ideological.”
“I’m not defending Breitbart,” said Mosseri. “I’m asking if you really want a platform of our scale to make decisions to exclude news organizations based on their ideology?”
“Put another way, do you care more about advancing your views than preserving freedom for diverse views to be on platforms?”
I'm not defending Breitbart, I'm asking if you really want a platform of our scale to make decisions to exclude news organizations based on their ideology? Put another way, do you care more about advancing your views than preserving freedom for diverse views to be on platforms?
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) October 26, 2019
Left-wing activist-journalists have been freaking out over the past few days over Facebook’s decision to include Breitbart News in its list of 200 sources, which will deliver news to Facebook users via the social network’s dedicated News Tab.
Mosseri provided a more nuanced take to other criticism throughout the day. At one point he said, “I simply asked if it was more important to get your way than to be default open to speech? The stakes are so high it just might be, but I believe it’s worth asking the question.”
I’m honestly not trying to play a game. I don’t even want Breitbart to be part of Facebook News. I simply asked if it was more important to get your way than to be default open to speech? The stakes are so high it just might be, but I believe it’s worth asking the question.
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) October 28, 2019
Most of the 200 sources are mainstream or left-wing, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, BuzzFeed, Hearst, Business Insider, Condé Nast, The Wall Street Journal, and NBC among others. Breitbart News and Fox News are among the only conservative sources that have currently been revealed to be on the list.
Some of the sources on Facebook’s list will also receive funding from the social network, although Facebook won’t say which ones will receive funds, for what, or how much. The Associated Press reports that the sums range from one to two million dollars per eligible publisher.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has clashed with former heads of Instagram. The co-founders of the image sharing platform left the company last year following clashes with the Facebook boss. On this issue, however, Instagram and Facebook appear to be showing a united front.
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Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.