Facebook v. Science

By BEN LYONS / Social media have helped us cocoon ourselves into comfortable ignorance of “the other side” — so goes the prevailing notion of the last few years, since Facebook has been king. A team of researchers at Facebook published an article Thursday that claimed to detail how much the site contributes to political echo chambers or filter-bubbles. Published in the journal Science, their report claimed Facebook’s blackbox newsfeed algorithm weeded out some disagreeable content from readers’ feeds, but not as much as did their personal behavior. A flurry of criticism came from other social scientists, with one, University of Michigan’s Christian Sandvig, calling it Facebook’s “it’s not our fault” study.

Former St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer says jail series is inaccurate

BY WILLIAM H. FREIVOGEL / Eddie Roth, St. Louis’ Director of Operations and former Post-Dispatch editorial writer, is using his Facebook page to criticize a recent Post-Dispatch series, “Jailed by Mistake.” Roth maintains the series “is premised on ‘facts’ whose accuracy the reporters admittedly have been unable to verify, and that it distorts statements in ways that create a patently false and deeply unfair impression of official indifference.”

Appeals Court likes “likes,” says they’re speech

BY ERIC P. ROBINSON / The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that “liking” something on Facebook is speech protected by the First Amendment, reversing a lower court opinion dismissing a suit brought by former employees of a sheriff’s office who lost their job after they “liked” the Facebook page of opponent of their boss in his re-election bid.