Noah Berger / AP

Facebook is taking on questions about its massive influence as an information platform — and, in the process, come across as a responsible actor.

The basics: The company will start to write publicly about how it addresses complicated questions like dealing with terrorist material and the value of its product for democracy. Elliot Schrage, the company's top policy and communications executive, said in a blog post that "even when you're skeptical of our choices, we hope these posts give a better sense of how we approach them — and how seriously we take them."

Why it matters: Facebook is increasingly the subject of criticism for its influence over public discourse. This has played out prominently in conversations about the most recent U.S. election, which was marked by the rise of "fake news," but it's also come up in discussions over online terrorist recruitment and the new industry's troubles. With this project, Facebook is trying to claim a larger place in that debate — and, it appears, have it on its terms.

The message, in one quote:

"We take seriously our responsibility — and accountability — for our impact and influence. We want to broaden that conversation." — Elliot Schrage

What to watch: Schrage listed several "hard questions" that the company could address, including, "How aggressively should social media companies monitor and remove controversial posts and images from their platforms? Who gets to decide what's controversial, especially in a global community with a multitude of cultural norms?" and "Is social media good for democracy?"

The first post in the series, he said, will come out Thursday and tackle issues around terrorism and the internet. That comes as the leaders of Britain and France are looking into the idea of making platform companies legally liable for terrorist recruitment content posted using their products.

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Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a downed power line electrocuted a 55-year-old in Louisiana as the storm moved into Alabama overnight.

What's happening: After "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi," it began lashing Alabama late Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

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