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Inside Facebook (Jun 30th, 2017)

A note to subscribers of Inside Facebook: This edition contains a special, in-depth look at the relationship between Facebook and traditional news organizations. 

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Facebook announced this week it had reached a milestone: 2 billion monthly users. At the end of the last financial quarter, the company had reported 1.94 billion users, and the growth came mostly from the Asia-Pacific region and countries outside of North America and Europe. Facebook will display messages thanking users when they wish someone a happy birthday, respond to a post with a heart, or create a group, things that correspond to the company's new stated mission of building community. — VERGE

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Facebook has come under scrutiny this week for its policies on censoring hate speech. ProPublica reported on leaked information about how the company trains its moderators and develops algorithms to detect content that should be removed. The policy was called confusing and seems to favor protecting certain groups over others, most notably "white men" over "black children." White men are a protected category because the policy censors attacks based on race and gender, whereas black children are a subset because age is not a protected factor. Facebook responded to the criticism in a blog post, stating "It's clear we're not perfect when it comes to enforcing our policy." — BUSINESS INSIDER

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Facebook's second drone test flight was a success. The company plans to develop a fleet of solar-powered drones that will connect with each other by lasers and extend internet connectivity to people without it. The Aquila aircraft flew in an initial test in 2016, but crashed when landing. The goal of these test flights was to gather data about how much energy the drones use, and how well the battery and solar design work. — TIME

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Facebook was not designed to be a news source, but it has lured readers and advertisers away from more traditional news outlets. Mar
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