Facebook Takes Down Breitbart Posts That Claimed to Name Whistle-Blower

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Breitbart’s violation of Facebook’s standards soon after Facebook endorsed it highlights the perils of the social media network’s plan to become a credible news source.

Last month, Facebook announced the start of Facebook News, a new section of its mobile app. It marked a change in the fraught relationship between tech platforms and legacy publishers. Facebook is paying some outlets — including The Times, The Wall Street Journal and BuzzFeed — for their news.

Other outlets whose articles may appear on Facebook News, including Breitbart, will not be paid.

Facebook executives said they would maintain strict editorial standards, particularly for the news tab. The tab’s top stories section, common to all users, will be overseen by Anne Kornblut, a former Times and Washington Post reporter.

The executives have said they want to provide a wide range of news sources, in order to serve the diversity of Facebook’s gigantic audience.

“You want to include a breadth of content in there,” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, said last month. “You want to have content that represents different perspectives, but is doing so in a way that complies with the standards that we have.”

Campbell Brown, the former television journalist who is Facebook’s head of news partnerships, last week defended the inclusion of “ideological publishers” that satisfy Facebook’s “integrity standards for misinformation.”

“It has been a long held American ideal that we win the day with better arguments, not by silencing those we disagree with,” Ms. Brown wrote in a Facebook post.

Breitbart, which was run for a time by Stephen K. Bannon, the final chief executive of Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, has been criticized both for serving as a platform for extremist ideologies, including white nationalism, and for publishing articles that exaggerate threats posed by certain immigrants.

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