Facebook extends Trump’s ban, changes rules for politicians

(Pocket-lint) – As part of an announcement describing new enforcement protocols, Facebook has extended former President Donald Trump’s “indefinite” ban to two years. The ban will end on 7 January 2023, which means he could return to the social network in time to run for president again in 2024. 

Facebook will reevaluate Trump’s ban before lifting it, to “assess whether the risk to public safety has receded,” according to Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, Nick Clegg. If Trump is reinstated and then violates Facebook’s rules, the company has a “strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions” it will begin to implement, which could lead to a permanent ban from the platform.

These changes follow a request from the Oversight Board, which consists of human rights experts that Facebook funded to make judgment calls. The board asked Facebook to review its recommendations on Trump and to change how it treats politicians differently from other users.

Facebook has therefore revised how it will handle posts from politicians who break its rules. While it will still allow rare instances of violating content if it is “newsworthy or important to the public interest”, politicians will have to adhere to the same rules as other users. Previously, it considered all speech from politicians as important to the public, allowing them to skirt Facebook’s rules.

“Moving forward . . . We will not treat content posted by politicians any differently from content posted by anyone else,” Clegg wrote in a blog post published 4 June. “Instead, we will simply apply our newsworthiness balancing test in the same way to all content, measuring whether the public interest value of the content outweighs the potential risk of harm by leaving it up.”

In response to the Oversight Board’s recent recommendations, Facebook has also made public a strikes system it uses for content that violates its rules. For instance, if an account receives multiple strikes, it can be permanently banned. It also disclosed that strikes expire after one year. 

Writing by Maggie Tillman.





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