(CN) — In a reversal, Facebook says it will label all “newsworthy” content that violates its policies, including statements from President Donald Trump.
“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,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Friday.
Previously, Facebook had refused to flag problematic messages from Trump, claiming such statements are in the public interest.
Without naming Trump, Zuckerberg also indicated the social media giant would begin removing content that “incites violence or suppresses voting.”
“If we determine that content may lead to violence or deprive people of their right to vote, we will take that content down,” Zuckerberg noted, adding “there are no exceptions for politicians.”
Facebook intends to partner with state election authorities “to help determine the accuracy of information and what is potentially dangerous.” The company also will display its “Voting Information Center” at the top of the Facebook and Instagram apps.
Other changes Facebook is making in the runup to the national election include a voter information campaign to help 4 million people register to vote, as well as monitoring hateful content in ads.
The new policies are among measures Facebook says it is taking to combat voter suppression and hate speech. The company says it has invested in both artificial intelligence and human review teams to identify most hate speech before anyone reports it.
“We’re expanding our ads policy to prohibit claims that 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,” Zuckerberg said. “We’re also expanding our policies to better protect immigrants, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers from ads suggesting these groups are inferior or expressing contempt, dismissal or disgust directed at them.”
Zuckerberg said the changes “come directly from feedback from the civil rights community and reflect months of work with our civil rights auditors.”He pledged to keep working with outside experts and civil rights organizations “to adjust our approach as new risks emerge.”
Facebook has faced growing criticism in recent weeks as other social media platforms have taken a more aggressive approach to labeling and removing content that violates their policies. Twitter has begun labeling Trump’s tweets for “abusive behavior,” and on May 26 added fact-checking notifications on his tweets and began hiding some Trump tweets behind a warning two days later.
Several prominent retail companies had pulled advertising from Facebook and Instagram to protest the company’s policies.
In response, Trump threatened to muzzle social media companies, signing an executive order attempting to restrict their liability protections, in conflict with Federal Communications Commission policies. The order has since been challenged in court.