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Facebook: Media Company or Technology Platform?

Facebook used to be a way to share photos of friends or puppies. Now it’s a news publisher, a broadcaster and a marketplace.

To get an inside view of the company and how it balances these roles, The Wall Street Journal’s Christina Passariello spoke with Facebook’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, and chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg. Here are edited excerpts of the conversation.

MS. PASSARIELLO: Last week, Facebook said it would relax its rules to allow more newsworthy content to remain on the site. And it decided not to remove some controversial Donald Trump posts. Those sound like editorial decisions. Is Facebook acknowledging it is a media company and not just a technology platform?

MS. SANDBERG: Facebook’s the platform for all ideas. It’s core to our mission that people can share what they care about on Facebook. We also want to be a really safe community. You know, there’s no place for violence, terrorism, hate on Facebook. But those things can come into conflict.

I’ll give you an example that’s been recently in the news, the famous Vietnam Terror of War photo. It’s a photo showing the atrocities of war. It’s also a naked child. A naked child violates everyone’s community standards. We took the photo down. On the other hand, this photo has...


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