Facebook will walk back controversial newsworthiness rule for politicians | Engadget


Facebook one of its most controversial rules, following recommendations from the Oversight Board. The social network announced that it would walk back a longstanding policy that allowed politicians to circumvent some of its rules under the guise of newsworthiness. Facebook announced the change at the same time it revealed that Donald Trump could be back on Facebook in 2023.

When we assess content for newsworthiness, we will not treat content posted by politicians any differently from content posted by anyone else, the companys VP of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, wrote in a blog post.

However, other rules that do give elected officials special treatment, including an exemption from fact checking, will remain in place. The changes come in response to a series of from the Oversight Board that accompanied its on the Trump suspension. Under the rules for the board, Facebook is bound to respond to the boards policy recommendations, but isnt required to implement the changes it suggests.

Facebook says it is changing its much-maligned which allows it to not take action on content that would otherwise break its rules when it believes there is public interest value in leaving it up. Previously, Clegg said that the company considered speech from politicians to be newsworthy and therefore should be be seen and heard even if a post may otherwise break its rules.

Now, the company says it will no longer automatically presume that posts are newsworthy, meaning that rule-breaking posts will get more scrutiny than in the past (previously, Facebook would only take down posts for breaking specific policies, like voter interference or inciting violence). With the change, by The New York Times, Facebook can still decide to apply a newsworthiness allowance to specific posts, but the company will not presume that any persons speech is inherently newsworthy, including by politicians. Facebook also said it will clearly explain when it does exempt a post for newsworthiness, a policy Mark Zuckerberg has

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