Facebook Changing Special Exception for Politicians

Facebook will change a policy that has protected politicians from the social media network’s content moderation rules, which could change how politicians use the platform, The Verge reports.

The decision comes after the Oversight Board, an outside group that reviewed Facebook’s suspension of former President Donald Trump, criticized their granting politicians special treatment, saying that the “same rules should apply to all users.” 

The board wrote: “While the same rules should apply to all users, context matters when assessing the probability and imminence of harm. When posts by influential users pose a high probability of imminent harm, Facebook should act quickly to enforce its rules. Although Facebook explained that it did not apply its ‘newsworthiness’ allowance in this case, the Board called on Facebook to address widespread confusion about how decisions relating to influential users are made. The Board stressed that considerations of newsworthiness should not take priority when urgent action is needed to prevent significant harm.”

According to the Verge, Facebook will continue to allow a special newsworthiness exemption, but it will not automatically be considered when looking at a post from a politician, as it was previously. Facebook will also start to publicly disclose when content receives an exemption

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