October 16, 2021

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Facebook To Abolish Regulation Favouring Politicians On The Platform

According to reports, Facebook is considering to abolish a regulation that exempts politicians from content moderation standards.

The network is scheduled to unveil its new policy on Friday, according to The Verge.

The adjustment comes as Facebook comes under fire for allowing world leaders and politicians to use its platform to propagate misinformation, suppress dissent, and harass critics.

The business is also likely to respond to its independent monitoring board, which recently recommended against reactivating Donald Trump’s Facebook account.

After the former president shared posts that appeared to praise the rioters who stormed the US capitol in the tragic 6 January attack, the website suspended Trump’s account.

The board added that the same standards should apply to all users and that Facebook’s existing standards, such as choosing when content is too newsworthy to remove or whether to take action on an influential account, should be more clearly disclosed to users as part of its non-binding recommendations.

According to the board, chiefs of state and government officials have more power to hurt people.

Facebook and Twitter have long argued that firms should not regulate what politicians post on their services but investigation revealed that it enabled massive abuses of its platform in minor, non-western countries, despite taking some steps to restrict misinformation spread by certain US officials in the face of heightened scrutiny.

The platform “has frequently failed to take prompt action when provided with proof of rampant manipulation and abuse of its tools by political leaders throughout the world,” according to CN News.

Facebook’s policy, which is anticipated to be announced this week, would not subject political posts to the same independent fact-checking as other media.

According to the Verge, the new regulation will expand the moderator’s authority to enforce harassment laws against politicians.

Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has long contended that the business should not regulate politicians’ speech.

Facebook currently exempts politicians’ posts and ads from its third-party fact-checking programme, and its “newsworthiness exemption” allows politicians’ rule-breaking posts on the site if the public interest outweighs the harm – though the company said it did not apply its newsworthiness exemption in the Trump case.

The board’s recommendations highlighted that “newsworthiness” should not take precedence when prompt platform action is required to prevent “severe harm.”

The board gave Facebook six months to decide on a “proportionate reaction” in the Trump case, which could include restoring, permanently blocking, or temporarily suspending the former president’s account.

Facebook has yet to make a judgement on whether or not the former president will be reinstated on the social media network.

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