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Facebook wants a voice in the debate over its massive influence

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.