After facing backlash, Mark Zuckerberg is now taking action with Facebook's platform when it comes to politics. The CEO announced that the impressive social media site will now start labeling posts from politicians, as well as other public figures who may be violating Facebook policies. This will also include possible removal of any posts that encourage violence and suppress voting.
"Three weeks ago, I committed to reviewing our policies ahead of the 2020 elections. That work is ongoing, but today I want to share some new policies to connect people with authoritative information about voting, crack down on voter suppression, and fight hate speech," he started his lengthy blog post where he made the announcement. "The 2020 elections are already shaping up to be heated — and that was before we all faced the additional complexities of voting during a pandemic and protests for racial justice across the country. During this moment, Facebook will take extra precautions to help everyone stay safe, stay informed, and ultimately use their voice where it matters most — voting."
This change comes from 2018 as they have updated their policies in efforts to "ban any content that misleads people [...]." He later continued with, "Even if a politician or government official says it, if we determine that content may lead to violence or deprive people of their right to vote, we will take that content down," he wrote. Zuckerberg faced mass criticism for not taking steps that activists felt were necessary to help with specific content being posted. Facebook will now be run similarly to Twitter, as they have now implemented fact checks and other warnings with some tweets from President Donald Trump.
Zuckerberg continued to say that prohibiting a wider range of "hateful content" in regards to ads that claim certain people from "a specific race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, gender identity or immigration status are a threat to the physical safety, health or survival of others." However, regarding their currents posts from public figures that would otherwise violate their rules, he noted, "if the public interest value outweighs the risk of harm."
"Often, seeing speech from politicians is in the public interest, and in the same way that news outlets will report what a politician says, we think people should generally be able to see it for themselves on our platforms," he added. "We'll allow people to share this content to condemn it, just like we do with other problematic content, because this is an important part of how we discuss what's acceptable in our society — but we'll add a prompt to tell people that the content they're sharing may violate our policies." Zuckerberg has been under fire for not making moves sooner and has resulted in some wanting to boycott the social media outlet.