Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Friday that it will remove content that incites violence or tries to suppress votes, even if it comes from political leaders,media reported. Facebook will label posts that violate hate speech or other company policies.
Facebook’s announcement of the latest measures, under pressure from public pressure, staff unrest and multiple advertisers to remove ads, is a sign that the company has made a huge concession. Previous public, staff and advertisers have called on Facebook to be more aggressive in dealing with hate speech posted on its platform by Politicians of U.S. President Donald Trump.
Earlier, Facebook decided not to address a blog post by Mr. Trump, which it did not delete or label. In the post, Trump wrote, “The smash started, the shooting started. Other platforms, such as Facebook’s main rival Twitter, have tagged Mr. Trump’s post, making it clear that the content posted by the president of the United States violates company policy.
“None of these policies that I announced today will be an exception for politicians,” Zuckerberg said on A Live News at City Hall on Friday. “
However, Facebook’s decision did not appease critics who said they had been trying to make Facebook aware of the seriousness of the problems on its platform for years, but in the end the company made “some concessions”. They point out that Facebook has a strict anti-voter suppression and hate speech policy, but at Friday’s launch, Zuckerberg said little about how to address them.
“Facebook is already feeling the pressure, which is a good thing,” said Brandi Collins-Dexter, senior campaign director for Color of Change, a campaign group that has been critical of Facebook. But I already think they’re not doing enough. “
The biggest change Facebook has made is that they are starting to be willing to tag politicians’ posts, something Zuckerberg has resisted.
In the run-up to the 2020 U.S. presidential election, social media companies are receiving worldwide attention and are under intense pressure to control hate speech and disinformation on their platforms. During the 2016 campaign, there was a lot of false information on the Internet, and it still haunts social media companies today.
Facebook has faced particular criticism in recent weeks for its decision to keep Mr. Trump’s posts, which many critics say are clearly inciting violence.
In May, Mr. Trump called the demonstrators “thugs” in a post and wrote, “We will continue to control any difficulties, but when the smash ingests begin, the shooting begins.” “
Facebook’s new policy is not retroactive, meaning that Trump’s controversial comments in the past few weeks will not be removed or tagged with warnings. Tom Reynolds, a Facebook spokesman, said that even if Mr. Trump sends the same content again tomorrow, Facebook’s policy will not regulate May’s posts.
“There are times of the year when we decide to keep some of the policy-breaking content on the platform because we think the value of the public interest outweighs the risks of that,” Zuckerberg said at City Hall. “
For years, Facebook has been exploring how to deal with content that Trump or other political leaders have issued that violates the company’s anti-hate and discriminatory speech policies. Facebook has dramatically expanded its content monitoring team, hiring tens of thousands of new employees to manually review posts. The company clearly states the immunity of politicians for content or political advertising, but Facebook has become a source of many fake and other content.
The White House and the Trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment.
Democratic front-runner and former vice president Joe Biden has long called on Facebook to take more aggressive action against disinformation, including from politicians. “Facebook is already feeling the pressure,” Biden’s campaign said Friday. Unfortunately, the company’s statement today did not bring about the changes many have called for. We will continue to press Facebook to make meaningful changes to protect democracy, and we will keep a close eye on the implementation of the new policy. “
Facebook said Mr. Trump’s post-mail edified votes did not violate the company’s policy of voter suppression, while Twitter added a fact-checking tag to Mr. Trump’s tweet. In the future, all references to the list will be tagged to provide users with more information about the ballots.
Facebook spokesman Reynolds said many future posts that violate the company’s voter suppression policy, whether or not the president has posted, will be removed. “Our anti-voter suppression policy applies to everyone, including politicians,” he said. “
The reluctance to take action on the content is the main reason for Facebook’s strained relationship with civil rights leaders, who have been urging Facebook to take racism seriously on the platform for years.
In November, Facebook announced a policy banning the posting of voter-suppressing content, whether or not it comes from politicians. Civil rights leaders who work on ballots say Mr. Trump’s latest criticism of the content of postal ballots is somehow tantamount to fraud and violates Facebook’s policy, so the posts should be deleted because they could confuse voters and prevent some voters from voting legally.
Vanita Gupta, president of the Citizens and Human Rights Leaders’ Conference in Washington, said that overall, Mr. Zuckerberg has not done enough to deliver effective policies and implement them appropriately.
Facebook wants to avoid a head-on confrontation with Trump, while rival Twitter has been more aggressive, tagging tweets from Trump and other politicians in the past few months, and warning tags on five of Trump’s tweets.
Facebook will also ban more hate speech, including political ads, in its ads. The new advertising policy will also prohibit the use of language that implies inferiority to refugees, immigrants or other groups.
When users post election-related posts, Facebook will provide them with official information about the election and remove posts that seek to intimidate or suppress voters.