Facebook reportedly to end policy shielding politicians from moderation rules

Mark Zuckerberg.
(Image credit: Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

Facebook is set to roll back its policy exempting politicians from some content moderation rules, The Verge reports.

Previously, Facebook has come under fire for allowing posts from politicians to remain up when they would otherwise be taken down or lead to account suspension for violating the company's content policies. Former President Donald Trump was suspended from the platform over his posts following the Capitol riot, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg cited his "use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government" in explaining the decision. Facebook later referred this decision to its Oversight Board, the company's "Supreme Court" for its moderation rulings. The Oversight Board called on Facebook to "re-examine the arbitrary penalty it imposed" on Trump.

As soon as Friday, Facebook will reportedly announce plans to standardize its content moderation and attempt to provide more transparency on moderation decisions. "Facebook is also set to begin disclosing when it uses a special newsworthiness exemption to keep up content from politicians and others that would otherwise violate its rules," writes The Verge. NBC News' Ben Collins called this a "very good change," arguing "transparency cuts off a lot of conspiracy theories and at least some claims of bias at the knees."

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While Facebook is still completing a review of Trump's account and the decision to suspend it, deciding his account must adhere to the same standards as other users' would seemingly suggest Trump will ultimately remain permanently banned, like he is on Twitter. A study by watchdog group Media Matters found that Facebook's previous approach of adding misinformation labels to Trump's posts may have actually amplified their reach and boosted engagement. Read more about the reported changes at The Verge.

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