Facebook will label messages from politicians who break its rules


“We will soon start labeling some of the content we are leaving out because it is deemed to be of interest, so that people can know when it is,” Zuckerberg wrote. “We will allow people to share this content to condemn it, just as we do with other problematic content, because it is an important part of how we discuss what is acceptable in our society – but we will add a prompt to tell people that the content they share can violate our policies. ”

It is unclear what these labels will look like, when Facebook starts adding them to posts, or how Facebook will interpret the new rules. Zuckerberg said the company would label “some of the content we leave behind.” Zuckerberg did not name Trump in his remarks, but the company faced increasing pressure to act on the president’s most inflammatory positions.

The policy change comes after a number of high-profile advertisers said they would remove ads from the social network as part of a boycott organized by civil rights groups. The campaign, organized by the Anti-Defamation League, NAACP, Color of Change and others, urged big companies to stop advertising on the social network for the month of July.

“The campaign is a response to Facebook’s long history of allowing racist, violent and obviously bogus content to run rampant on its platform,” the organizers wrote in a letter announcing the campaign earlier this month. “The campaign will organize pressure from businesses and the public to demand that Facebook stop generating advertising revenue from hateful content, provide more support for people who are victims of racism and hatred, and increase the safety of private groups on the platform, among other measures. ”

Unilever is the largest company to have joined the boycott to date. The company behind brands like Dove and Lipton spent $ 42 million on Facebook ads in 2019, CNN reported. Verizon also announced that it would suspend advertising on Facebook after the ADL published a letter noting that a Verizon ad had appeared alongside the QAnon content. Ben and Jerrys, REI, Patagonia and Eddie Bauer have also announced their participation.

Zuckerberg did not speak directly to the advertiser’s boycott. One day earlier, Wall Street newspaper reported that a Facebook official had told advertisers “we are not making any policy changes related to the pressure on earnings”.

Most importantly, Facebook is not changing the policy that exempts politicians from fact checking, including in political advertisements. Zuckerberg, however, said the company would tighten its rules on hate speech in paid advertising. “We want to do more to ban the kind of divisive and inflammatory language that has been used to sow discord,” he writes.

“We are expanding our advertising policy to prohibit allegations that people of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, caste, sexual orientation , specific gender identity or immigration status threatens the physical security, health or survival of others. We are also expanding our policies to better protect immigrants, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers from advertisements suggesting these groups are inferior or expressing contempt, dismissal or disgust towards them. “

It is unclear what impact, if any, Facebook’s policy changes will have on boycotting advertisers. The boycott organizers have already criticized the updates as not going far enough.

“Mark Zuckerberg’s response today was not enough,” the ADL wrote on Twitter. Likewise, Rashad Robinson, CEO of Color of Change called Zuckerberg’s remarks, which were broadcast live on his Facebook page, “11 minutes of a lost opportunity to commit to change. “


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