According to The Verge report on Thursday, Facebook is planning to terminate its policy of protecting politicians from certain content censorship rules, which will be a major policy reversal for the world’s largest social media network.

According to the report, Facebook is expected to announce a response to the company’s independent oversight committee’s ruling on the company’s suspension of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s recommendations.

A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on The Verge’s report.

In recent years, the technology platform has been trying to figure out how to monitor world leaders and politicians who violate its guidelines. Facebook and Twitter have long believed that politicians should have greater freedom of speech on the platform than ordinary users.

Facebook’s oversight committee is an independent organization funded by the company that can veto its decision in a small number of content review cases. It recently maintained Facebook’s blockade of Trump after the congressional riots on January 6, but said the social network The suspension of the media giants is wrongly uncertain.

It also made non-binding recommendations, and Facebook is expected to make a full response as soon as Friday. The committee said that the same rules should apply to all users, but it said that heads of state and government officials can have greater powers to cause harm.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has long believed that the company should not monitor the speech of politicians. The company currently excludes politicians’ posts and advertisements from its third-party fact-checking program, and its “news value exemption” allows politicians to post on the website that violates the rules, provided that the public interest outweighs the harm-even though Facebook says it does not Apply the newsworthiness allowance in its Trump case.

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In the board’s recommendation, it emphasized that when the platform needs to take urgent action to prevent “major damage”, it should not give priority to “news value”.

The board also stated that Facebook’s existing policies, such as deciding when to remove content that is too newsworthy or when to take action on influential accounts, need to be communicated more clearly to users.

Facebook has come under fire from those who think it should abandon non-interference in political speech. But it has also been criticized by people including Republican lawmakers and some free speech advocates who regard Trump’s ban as a disturbing censorship.

The board of directors gave Facebook six months to decide on an “appropriate response” to the Trump case, which could restore, permanently block, or suspend the former president’s account for a period of time.

Facebook has not announced whether the former president will restore its platform.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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