Jumat, 04 Juni 2021

Facebook suspends former US president Donald Trump's account for two years over January 6 riots - ABC News

Facebook says it will suspend former US president Donald Trump's accounts for two years following its finding that he stoked violence ahead of the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol in Washington DC.

"At the end of this period, we will look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded," Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice-president of global affairs, wrote in a blog post.

"We will evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest."

Facebook also plans to end a contentious policy championed by chief executive Mark Zuckerberg that automatically exempted politicians from rules that banned hate speech and abuse.

The company has said it has never applied this policy to Mr Trump.

The social media giant said that while it will still apply this "newsworthiness" exemption to certain posts it deems to be in the public interest even if they violate Facebook rules, it will no longer treat material posted by politicians any differently from that posted by anyone else.

People climbing up a wall leading to the US Capitol building
A number of social media companies banned Mr Trump from their platforms after the January 6 riots.(

AP: Jose Luis Magana


In addition, Facebook said it will make public whenever it does apply the exemption to a post.

The announcements are in response to recommendations from the company's quasi-independent oversight board.

Last month, that panel upheld a decision by Facebook to keep former Mr Trump indefinitely suspended but said the company could not merely suspend him "indefinitely" and gave it six months to decide what to do with his accounts.

Politicians to come under greater scrutiny on Facebook

In its decision last month, the board agreed with Facebook that two of Mr Trump's January 6 posts "severely violated" the content standards of both Facebook and Instagram.

"We love you. You're very special," Mr Trump said to the rioters in the first post.

In the second, he called them "great patriots" and told them to "remember this day forever".

Those violated Facebook's rules against praising or supporting people engaged in violence, the board said, warranting the suspension.

Specifically, the board cited Facebook's rules against "dangerous individuals and organisations", which prohibit anyone who proclaims a violent mission and bans posts that express support or praise of these people or groups.

Facebook has had a general "newsworthiness exemption" since 2016.

But it garnered attention in 2019 when Mr Clegg announced that speech from politicians would be treated as "newsworthy content that should, as a general rule, be seen and heard".

The newsworthiness exemption, he explained in a blog post at the time, meant 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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2021-06-04 19:45:08Z

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