Facebook reportedly intends to nix its rule that shielded politicians on the platform from some scrutiny from the company and its fact-checkers.
How we got here: Facebook has, in recent years, faced mounting criticism from conservatives who accused the platform of bias against their political beliefs.
The company jas rejected such claims and said that it tries to stay away from politics as much as possible, pointing to its policy that allows political speech on the platform to go largely unchecked. That means it’s not subject to the company’s strikes and other penalties like regular users when their content is deemed to break Facebook’s rules.
In 2019, Facebook vice president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, said that Facebook will view political speech as “newsworthy” and therefore should be “seen and heard.” Facebook also said politicians’ original posts will be exempt from its third-party “fact-checking” program, for the most part.
The move, subsequently, brought accusations of preferential treatment for politicians.
The story: Facebook now plans to strip politicians of their protections, but not entirely, the Washington Post reports, citing a person familiar with the matter. It would still make exceptions for political speech in certain cases, but it will now publicly disclose that decision.
Separately, the company is also expected to become more open about how it applies its strike system, such as informing them that they have received a strike for breaking its rules, according to The Verge, which first reported on Facebook’s intentions.
Blocking Trump: It is unclear if Facebook’s upcoming changes are, at least in part, connected to its Oversight Board’s ruling that said the company was right to suspend former President Trump from the platform. The board only took issue with Facebook making the suspension “indefinite,” arguing that there is nothing in the company’s rulebook that justifies that move.
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