One morning in October, the editors of Página Siete, Bolivia’s third-largest news site, noticed that traffic to their outlet coming from Facebook was plummeting.
The publication had recently been hit by cyberattacks, and editors feared it was being targeted by hackers loyal to the government of President Evo Morales.
But it wasn’t the government’s fault. It was Facebook’s. The Silicon Valley company was testing a new version of its hugely popular News Feed, peeling off professional news sites from what people normally see and relegating them to a new section of Facebook called Explore. Like it or not, Bolivia had become a guinea pig in the company’s continual quest to reinvent itself.