Facebook announced it will likely scrap its highly debated policy regarding moderating speech and content posted on its site from politicians. Previously, politicians were subject to suspension or permanent ban under a different set of rules compared to regular Facebook users.
This decision comes on the heels of former President Donald J. Trump being permanently banned from Facebook, but no decision has come regarding whether to resurrect Trump’s Facebook account. Facebook’s Oversight Board is giving Facebook time to determine if Trump will be allowed back on the platform.
Facebook made this call citing the inherent newsworthiness of elected officials regardless of the content and the “same rules should apply to all users.”
The tech giant also plans to release its criteria for giving users “strikes,” which critics have said are arbitrary eventually leading to the suspension of the users’ account, according to The Verge, who originally broke the story.
Facebook’s decision comes after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 7072, a bill designed to curb the censorship capabilities of Silicon Valley tech companies.
Today, Floridians are being guaranteed protection against the Silicon Valley power grab on speech, thought, and content. We the people are standing up to tech totalitarianism with the signing of Florida’s Big Tech Bill. https://t.co/cDewFJiEPk
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 24, 2021
“This session, we took action to ensure that ‘We the People’ — real Floridians across the Sunshine State — are guaranteed protection against the Silicon Valley elites,” said DeSantis in a release. “Many in our state have experienced censorship and other tyrannical behavior firsthand in Cuba and Venezuela. If Big Tech censors enforce rules inconsistently, to discriminate in favor of the dominant Silicon Valley ideology, they will now be held accountable.”
Nick Clegg, vice president of global affairs and communications, explained the newsworthiness exemption at the time that if “someone makes a statement or shares a post which breaks our community standards we will still allow it on our platform if we believe the public interest in seeing it outweighs the risk of harm.”
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