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Facebook to End Special Treatment for Politicians’ Posts: Report

The Oversight Board has asked Facebook to respond to its policy recommendations by 5 June.

Published
Tech and Auto
1 min read
File photo of Mark Zuckerberg, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Facebook.
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Tech giant Facebook has reportedly planned to end its controversial policy that shields politicians from content moderation rules that apply to other users.

This change will reportedly be announced on Friday after the Oversight Board – a group funded by Facebook to review its content-moderation ruling – critiqued the special treatment it gives to politicians. It said that the “same rules should apply to all users”.

The board has asked Facebook to respond to its policy recommendations by 5 June.

According to a report by the New York Times, Facebook’s decision to ban former President Donald Trump from its site was a retreat from a policy introduced less than two years ago, when the company said speeches by politicians were newsworthy and should not be policed.

Politicians will now be subject to Facebook’s content guidelines that prohibit harassment, and other harmful speeches, a source told NYT on condition of anonymity.

Facebook, in this announcement, will also talk about the system of strikes it awards accounts for breaking its content rules. The system will let the user know if they have received any strike for violating its rules that could lead to suspension of their accounts.

This move is surprising, especially after Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said in a 2019 speech at Georgetown University that the company wouldn’t censor any free speech because it believed that it “must continue to stand for free expression”.

(With inputs from NYT)

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