Facebook to end 'newsworthiness exemption' rule for politicians:
According to many news reports, Facebook wants to eliminate a provision that excused politicians from some moderation rules on its service. According to multiple news reports, Facebook wants to eliminate a divisive policy championed by CEO Mark Zuckerberg that exempted politicians from some moderation rules on its platform.
The company's justification for the strategy was that political leaders' speeches are intrinsically newsworthy and in the public interest, regardless of whether they are insulting, bullying, or otherwise contentious. The social media behemoth is presently debating what to do with former President Donald Trump's account, which it "indefinitely" suspended on Jan. 6, leaving its owners unable to post.
The Verge, a technology news site, was the first to publish the policy change, which was later confirmed by the New York Times and the Washington Post. Since 2016, Facebook has had a broad "newsworthiness exemption." But it got a lot of attention in 2019 when Nick Clegg, the vice president of global affairs and communications, said that politicians' speeches will be viewed as "newsworthy material that should, in general, be seen and heard." The newsworthiness exemption meant that if "someone makes a statement or publishes a post that breaches our community standards, we would nevertheless allow it on our platform if we feel the public interest in seeing it exceeds the risk of damage," he wrote in a blog post at the time. However, this does not grant politicians unrestricted power. Following the tragic insurgency at the US Capitol, Facebook suspended Trump in January, citing "the potential of future inciting of violence." According to the firm, the newsworthiness exception has never been invoked for any of Trump's posts.