Facebook to change what politicians can get away with on its platform

Facebook to change what politicians can get away with on its platform

Trump, who was impeached by the House of Representatives on the charge of "incitement of insurrection" in January, had his Facebook and Instagram accounts suspended the day after a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an effort to block the certification of Electoral College votes showing that Joe Biden had beaten him in the November 3 election. However, it means he may be able to return to Facebook well before the next presidential election in late 2024.

When the suspension is eventually lifted, there will be a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions that will be triggered if Mr. Trump commits further violations in future, up to and including permanent removal of his pages and accounts.

Last month, the board upheld Facebook's decision to suspend Trump, finding he had broken its policies against praising violence, but said the company needed to set clear rules for high-profile users.

Trump's suspension was effective from the initial date in January and will only be reinstated if conditions permit, Facebook said in a blog post. They shouldn't be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing, and ultimately, we will win.

"Our country can't take this abuse anymore", Trump said in a statement.

Social media companies have grappled in recent years with how to handle world leaders and politicians that violate their guidelines. The company added one caveat that it will apply a newsworthiness test to those posts, however, meaning some posts will still stay up unless they could lead to real-world harm.

In a major reversal that also came as part of Facebook's Friday responses to its oversight board, Facebook said it was "removing the presumption we announced in 2019 that speech from politicians is inherently of public interest". Some of these policy changes were originally reported by The Verge.

Nonetheless, the new rules being applied to Trump mark a sharp break with the hands-off approach to political speech that Facebook has taken for years.

Facebook also said it will no longer give politicians blanket immunity for deceptive or abusive content at the social network based on their comments being newsworthy.

Facebook also rolled out a series of new protocols in dealing with public figures during times of civil unrest and ongoing violence.

The policy changes were announced Friday in response to recommendations from Facebook's Oversight Board. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Leader Ali Khamenei, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and lawmakers in India's ruling party have drawn scrutiny.

Facebook is also planning to be more transparent about "strikes" issued to accounts for breaking content rules, according to the Verge. The board announced in May that Facebook was right to suspend Trump, but said that the company, not the board, would have to determine the length of Trump's suspension.

The board also recommended Facebook review its role in the election fraud conspiracy that led to the January 6 siege, which Facebook said it would partially implement through its partnership with academics studying the role it played in the 2020 USA elections.

Facebook said it was "committed to fully implementing" most of the board's recommendations.

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