Facebook Decides to End Special Treatment For Politicians

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Facebook is expected to announce this Friday (04) a change in its content moderation rules in relation to politicians. The idea is to change the historically exempt posture of the social network, which provides differentiated treatment to people in positions of power, to the detriment of what is done with other users.

The change, which could globally impact the way in which authorities freely use Facebook, was adopted after the Oversight Board, the company’s independent supervisory board, spoke out when it ratified the decision to suspend the former US president Donald Trump.

In the decision, the councilors who supported the punishment of then-president Trump made an important reservation, making it clear that the “same rules should apply to all users”. Thus, the council of notables from around the world (including Brazil) gave Facebook a deadline until June 5 to take a position on its recommendations.

Dissolving the privileged list

Along with the manifestations to the Supervisory Board, Facebook must provide clarifications on the so-called “secret system of strikes”, applied differently to people and entities that violate the social network’s content rules. The idea here is to avoid a practice that allows some company employees to intervene in favor of certain political pages.

Historically, Facebook maintains a list of political accounts that are not subject to any kind of moderation on the network. This collective “clothing” was harshly criticized by a group of officials who, in 2019, asked that this privileged list be simply dissolved, according to The Information website.

The employees’ request was based on an internal survey that showed that people were likely to believe fake news if it was shared by authorities. This turned out to be especially tragic when Trump used Facebook to rally his followers to gun down protests over the death of George Floyd, as well as clearly encouraging them to invade the Capitol on January 6th.