The Washington PostThe Washington Post

As fires and floods rage, Facebook and Twitter are missing in action

By Will Oremus

24 Aug 2023 · 5 min read

informed Summary

  1. Facebook and Twitter, now known as Meta and X respectively, have pulled back from their roles as key news distributors. Meta has blocked links to news organizations in Canada in protest of a law requiring payment to publishers for content distribution, while X’s jumbled verification policies have made it harder to distinguish credible sources.

As wildfires ravage western Canada, Canadians can't read the news about them on Facebook or Instagram. This month, Facebook parent company Meta blocked links to news organizations on its major social networks in Canada to protest a law that would require it to pay publishers for distributing their content.

As a freak tropical storm flooded swaths of Southern California over the weekend, residents and government agencies who turned to X, formerly known as Twitter, for real-time updates struggled to discern fact from fiction. That has gotten far more difficult, officials say, since Elon Musk jumbled the site's verification policies, removing the blue check marks from verified journalists and media outlets - instead granting them to anyone who pays a monthly fee.

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content