Now that Facebook has suspended President Donald Trump – again – and has announced that his suspension will be for two years, the social media giant is spreading the word that they will share with the world how they go about striking out politicians for their posts on the platform.
And not only that, anything politicians have to say will be put under an extra microscope for scrutiny and “fact-checking.”
The company will also now disclose when a politician’s post violates its rules and has been given a newsworthiness exemption. Facebook first unveiled policies in 2019 that allowed political leaders certain exemptions, claiming that even their false comments are newsworthy.
Posts made by politicians will still now be reviewed by fact-checkers for truthfulness as many have accused Facebook’s independent fact-checkers of bias in the past. The policy change comes after Facebook’s independent Oversight Board announced in May that it was upholding the platform’s decision to suspend former President Trump on January 7.
“However, it was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension. Facebook’s normal penalties include removing the violating content, imposing a time-bound period of suspension, or permanently disabling the page and account,” the Oversight Board wrote in its decision.
Stifling alternative viewpoints and silencing critics is exactly what freedom of speech and expression is supposed to oppose. That is not what the founders of the United States had in mind when they wrote the first amendment and then passed it into law. Robust discussion and conversation are essential for the health of the nation.
Think about that for a while.
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