The social media giant is currently contemplating what to do with the account of former US President Donald Trump.
Facebook will no longer give special treatment to politicians. According to multiple news reports, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to end a controversial policy that exempts politicians from certain moderation rules on its site.
The company’s argument for this policy was that the speech of political leaders is inherently newsworthy and in the public interest, even if it is offensive, threatening or otherwise controversial. The social media giant is currently contemplating what to do with the account of former US President Donald Trump, which it indefinitely suspended on January 6, left it on Facebook and Honor was unable to post it.
The change in policy was first reported by tech site The Verge and later confirmed by The New York Times and The Washington Post. Facebook has got news eligibility exemption from 2016. But it gained attention in 2019 when Nick Clegg, vice president of global affairs and communications, announced that politician speech would be treated as newsworthy material, which should be seen and heard as a general rule.
As Facebook explained in a blog post at the time, the news eligibility exemption means that if someone makes a statement or shares a post that breaks our Community Standards, we will still allow it on our platform if we have to. It seems that people are interested in watching it and there is no risk from it.
However, it has not given unlimited license to the politician. When Facebook suspended Trump in January, it cited the risk of further instigating violence following the deadly uprising at the US Capitol as the reason. The company says it has never used the news eligibility exemption for any of Trump’s posts. Further, Facebook declined to comment.
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