Facebook has long protected politicians from the same content rules it applies to the rest of us because of the “newsworthiness” of what they have to say. However, according to a report in The Verge this week, that controversial policy is about to come to an end.
Facebook’s previous policy has stood for several years, though it was stretched to the breaking point after the platform’s decision to ban then-president Donald Trump. But even before then, the social media giant had to work hard to defend its logic.
“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,” Facebook VP of Global Affairs and Communications wrote in a blog post in 2019. “We will treat speech from politicians as newsworthy content that should, as a general rule, be seen and heard.”
In ruling on the ban of president Trump, Facebook’s Oversight Board recommended that Facebook apply the same rules to every user. It’s encouraging that the company is actually going to take their recommendation — even though the original rule made no sense in the first place.
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