Facebook to moderate politicians’ posts in wake of Trump ban, report says

Posts by world leaders will not be fact-checked but subject to moderation for violating rules such as bullying

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
@graemekmassie
Friday 04 June 2021 16:59
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rump Shuts Down His Blog

Facebook will end its policy of exempting world leaders from moderation as they strengthen the platform’s rules in the wake of the Donald Trump ban, a report says.

The social media giant is set to announce the major policy reversal for politicians as soon as Friday, according to The Verge.

The move comes just weeks after the company’s independent Oversight Board upheld the decision to indefinitely suspend the former president’s account, but publicly stated that the “same rules should apply to all users.”

Mark Zuckerberg’s company was given until 5 June to respond to the policy recommendations given to them by the Oversight Board.

Facebook, as well as Twitter, have said publicly that they do not believe in censoring world leaders on their platforms, even if their posts would not be allowed for a regular user.

Currently Facebook exempts politicians’ posts and adverts from its third-party fact-checking programme, and it uses a “newsworthiness exemption” to allow posts that break the rules if they are in the public interest.

Under the new policy posts directly made by politicians will reportedly still not be fact-checked, but for the first time they will be subject to enforcement by moderators for things like bullying rules.

Facebook will also disclose if and when it uses the public interest exemption to keep up content from politicians or any other user, says the report.

The platform also plans to start letting users know if they receive a strike that could lead to a suspension.

Mr Trump was indefinitely suspended by Facebook following the 6 January attack on the US Capitol by his supports, who attempted to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s November 2020 election victory.

The Oversight Board, which is made up of media, legal and other experts, supported the suspension but said the company had been wrong to make it indefinite.

It gave the company six month to come to a permanent decision over Mr trump’s suspension.

Facebook declined to comment when contacted by The Independent .

Reuters contributed to this report.

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