Facebook plans to end rule exemptions for politicians
AP – Facebook plans to end its policy to exempt politicians from certain moderation rules on its site, according to several news reports.
The original policy held the rationale that speech from political leaders is inherently newsworthy and in the public interest even if it is offensive, bullying or otherwise controversial, Associated Press reported. The decision comes as the company mulls over how to treat the account of former President Trump, which was indefinitely suspended on Jan. 6.
Facebook has had a general “newsworthiness exemption” since 2016. The policy gained more public awareness in 2019 when when Nick Clegg, vice president of global affairs and communications, announced that speech from politicians will be treated as “newsworthy content that should, as a general rule, be seen and heard.”
He said in a blog post at the time that if “someone makes a statement or shares a post which breaks our community standards we will still allow it on our platform if we believe the public interest in seeing it outweighs the risk of harm.”
However, Facebook decided to suspend Trump in January and cited “the risk of further incitement of violence.”
The company said it has never used the newsworthiness exemption for any of Trump’s posts.
Facebook declined to comment.
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