Facebook to bar politicians from posting deceptive content

San Francisco, June 4, 2021: Facebook plans to eliminate an exemption for politicians that permits them to post content considered deceptive or abusive, and will hold them to same standards as other users, news site The Verge announced Thursday.

The questionable exception, given to lawmakers under the protection of their posts being newsworthy, could end as soon as this week on the leading social networking platform, the news site said. Facebook didn’t immediately respond to press demand for input on the matter. The policy reversal would come after an autonomous oversight board said Facebook was right remove former president Donald Trump for his remarks with respect to the destructive January 6 attack at the US Capitol. Trump was suspended from Facebook and Instagram subsequent to posting a video during the assault by his fired up supporters challenging his political race loss, in which he said to them: “We love you, you’re very special.”

However, the panel gave Facebook six months to justify why his ban should be permanent, putting the ball in company chief Mark Zuckerberg‘s court and spotlighting weaknesses in the platform’s plan for self-regulation. Oversight panel co-chair Michael McConnell said in a May 9 interview on Fox News Sunday that Trump encouraged the Capitol rioters and so earned his Facebook ban, but the social media giant’s rules are in “shambles” and need fixing.

Zuckerberg has stressed his belief that private companies should not be the judges of truth when it comes to what people say. Democrats have slammed online platforms for failing to stem misinformation while Republicans have contended that social networks are biased against conservatives. Facebook is also planning to be more transparent about “strikes” issued to accounts for breaking content rules, according to the Verge.

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