Facebook is expected to announce on Friday (4) the revision of a rule that gives politicians a sort of pass when they violate the company’s hate speech rules, which has generated accusations of condescension towards the powerful. This decision would be a response to a recommendation made in May by the independent committee that ruled on the banishment of former President Donald Trump.
Since 2016, Mark Zuckerberg’s network has been testing posts posted by politicians to compare the newsworthy nature of the content to its propensity to cause harm. Now, according to information from US technology site The Verge, Facebook intends to rule out this comparison, which often gave politicians different treatment on the platform compared to other users.
Third-party content shared by political leaders, such as links and videos, is already subject to certain levels of verification. The rule change, according to the Verge, does not yet submit posts made by politicians directly to Facebook auditors, but for the first time, it allows them to be evaluated under the same rules applied to any common user.
According to a source interviewed anonymously by the Washington Post, the practice of the exception for news content will not however be completely abolished. In cases where it is applied, however, Facebook will disclose it publicly – currently, the criteria and frequency of such decisions are in the control of the company.
Another area where the platform intends to increase transparency is in warnings against users who violate the rules. Currently, profiles that receive a number of warnings may have their content removed or their scope reduced. Facebook’s criticism, however, is that the number of warnings until a sanction is not known in advance, and in many cases sanctioned users are not told exactly which rule was violated. .
The whole point of the platform is that sharing your content moderation policies could create loopholes for malicious users. Now, according to Verge, Facebook wants to make the process more transparent, by more clearly informing users when they receive a warning that could lead to a suspension.
Facebook is expected to formalize the new rules this Friday, a day before the platform’s deadline to respond to recommendations from the committee that banned Trump from the network.
A month ago, the committee – made up of 20 experts such as a Nobel Peace Prize winner, a former prime minister and Brazilian lawyer Ronaldo Lemos, columnist for Folha – decided to remove the former Republican president from Facebook.
Trump was banned from the network on January 7, the day after the attack on Capitol Hill, the seat of the US Legislative Assembly. At the time, Zuckerberg argued that the risks of allowing the then president to stay on the platform were too high and that the decision could be revised after January 20, when Joe Biden takes over as head of the platform. White House.
The Republican was accused of not only encouraging his supporters to invade Congress, but also praising the act, earning him a ban from other platforms, such as Twitter, and a second impeachment proceeding. just before the end of his term – which ended until he was acquitted.
In announcing its decision, the Facebook committee said the company should determine a “proportionate response” and in accordance with the rules applied to other users and criticized it “for imposing an indefinite and indefinite sentence”, since this type of measure does not ‘not one of them. rules for using the social network – the penalties provided for are suspension for a fixed period or permanent ban.
The committee then gave the platform six months to decide which of those two sanctions to impose on Trump, a deadline that ends in November.