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6 Jun, 2020 10:17

Zuckerberg backtracking? Facebook to review policy on ‘threats of state use of force’ after backlash for not deleting Trump post

Zuckerberg backtracking? Facebook to review policy on ‘threats of state use of force’ after backlash for not deleting Trump post

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised to review the guidelines on allowing posts about the use of “excessive force” by the state. He was blasted earlier for not removing a Trump post flagged as incendiary by Twitter.

In a letter to employees, Zuckerberg promised to review the company’s policies regarding “discussion and threats of state use of force” posted on Facebook, and pledged to work on “building products to advance racial justice.”

The CEO explained that he will focus on how to moderate posts about instances of “excessive” use of force by police and governments, including during times of civil unrest and violent conflicts.

Zuckerberg’s response came after current and former employees blasted his decision not to delete a post by US President Donald Trump which contained a tweet that Twitter itself earlier hid under the warning that it was “glorifying violence.” In the tweet, Trump slammed the rioters, who clashed with police and broke into stores during police brutality protests, as “thugs,” writing that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

Zuckerberg acknowledged that the decision to allow Trump’s post left “many of you angry, disappointed and hurt,” but reiterated that Facebook only takes down content that is “actually inciting violence.” However, he said that he is open to hearing about “better alternatives,” outside of “the binary leave-it-up or take-it-down decisions.” The Facebook boss did not elaborate on what new approaches he will examine, although, he may be hinting at adopting a policy similar to Twitter’s – hiding tweets under a disclaimer that they are deemed incendiary.

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The CEO’s stated goal to protect speech that “we strongly and viscerally disagree with” will likely be at odds with critics and some politicians who have long been pressuring Zuckerberg to do more to combat hate speech and misinformation. The social media company has brought in third-party fact-checkers, labeled outlets as “state-controlled media,” and hired thousands of additional moderators. The measures did not end the calls for Facebook to introduce more content-policing, however. At the same time, conservatives have long accused Facebook and other social media companies of bias against them.

Twitter chief Jack Dorsey has recently taken a more robust approach, ‘fact-checking’ Trump’s tweets and labeling them as incendiary. Earlier this week, the company removed a Trump campaign ad citing a copyright claim, prompting accusations of censorship from the president’s staff.Trump himself threatened to “shut down” Twitter and signed an executive order weakening the company’s legal protection against lawsuits.

Dorsey’s stance drew accusations of political bias. Zuckerberg, meanwhile, told Fox News last week that he “strongly” believes that Facebook should not be “the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online.”

Also on rt.com Trump campaign blasts Twitter for CENSORSHIP as George Floyd clip taken down due to copyright claim

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