Facebook: Steve Bannon’s call for Anthony Fauci to be beheaded doesn’t break his rules, says Zuckerberg

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Steve Bannon did not violate Facebook policies “enough” when he suggested that US officials be beheaded, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said.

Bannon, a former adviser to President Donald Trump and former executive chairman of Breitbart News, said in a video that FBI Director Christopher Wray and government infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci should be beheaded for disloyalty to Mr. Trump.

“I would put my head on spades. Okay. I would put them in both corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats. Either you get with the program or you are gone, ”Bannon said in the video.

“This is how you won the revolution. Nobody wants to talk about it. The revolution wasn’t some kind of garden party, right? It was a civil war. It was a civil war.

The comments were made on Bannon’s podcast, The War Room. The podcast’s Twitter account was subsequently suspended.

Facebook deleted the video, but Bannon’s Facebook page, which has around 175,000 followers, remains active.

“We have specific rules on how many times you must violate certain policies before completely deactivating your account,” Zuckerberg said, according to Reuters who obtained a recording of the CEO’s comments in response to a question from an employee of Facebook explaining why Bannon was not banned.

“While the infractions here, I think, almost crossed that line, they clearly didn’t cross the line.

Facebook will take further action against the Bannon page “if there are further violations,” according to Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone.

Representatives for Bannon claimed the comments were “clearly meant metaphorically” and referenced a comment Bannon made a day earlier about Thomas More’s treason trial “for rhetorical purposes.”

“Mr. Bannon did not, did not want and never called for violence of any kind,” spokeswoman Alexandra Preate said in a statement.

Anthony Fauci described the situation as “really quite unusual” and not something he was taught to cope with in medical college.

“You know, people who ask you to be beheaded, shot, thrown in the hearth, or whatever, it’s just noise,” he added. “You don’t care about it. “

It was also recently discovered that Bannon was involved in a network of disinformation pages about the presidential election in the United States, won by Democrat Joe Biden.

Activist group Avaaz said seven of the biggest pages have garnered nearly 2.5 million followers. Stone said Facebook had removed “several activity groups for using inauthentic behavior tactics to artificially increase the number of people viewing their content.”

The content was posted synchronously across multiple pages, with whitewashed links via a far-right news aggregation website. This meant that the original URLs of stories Facebook had previously flagged as misinformation were slightly more hidden.

Nonetheless, Avaaz said it alerted Facebook to a 180-page disinformation network and groups connected to Bannon before this revelation.

Facebook has been criticized several times for its response to right-wing figures on its platform. The social media giant is said to have fired a senior Facebook engineer who gathered evidence that the company was giving preferential treatment to right-wing pages for violating its “respectful communication policy.”

This employee discovered that right-wing publisher Breitbart News, Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, Trump Diamond and Silk advocates, and conservative videographer Prager University (PragerU) have all received preferential treatment to prevent their publications from being published. be blocked by Facebook policies.

Another employee who left the company said she had “blood on [her] hands now ”because of the scale and power of Facebook’s political disruption.

The company also reportedly changed its news feed algorithm in 2017 to reduce the visibility of left-wing news sites like Mother Jones, plans that were apparently personally endorsed by Mark Zuckerberg.

In the taped meeting, an employee asked Zuckerberg how Facebook is handling criticism of Biden. The president-elect told the New York Times in December 2019 that he had “never been a fan of Facebook” and considered Zuckerberg “a real problem”.

The incoming administration is “not monolithic,” Zuckerberg said in response.

“Just because some people may speak in a way that is more antagonistic to us, doesn’t necessarily mean the whole group or the whole administration is going to stand up for it.

Biden also said he would support the change to Section 230, which protects U.S. websites from liability for content uploaded by users.

However, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Reddit general counsel Benjamin Lee all defended the legislation because of the difficulties it would present to moderate and remove. legally content.

Additional reports by agencies

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