Facebook and Twitter will lift exceptions to the rules for Donald Trump once he ceases to be president of the United States on January 20. This is evident from answers from directors Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey during an interview and inquiries with spokespersons by The New York Times.
Trump can be factored after term expires
Facebook will basically moderate Trump’s posts no differently than it currently does, Zuckerberg said during the interrogation. The company puts context to messages that are questioned, but in many cases doesn’t go as far as Twitter. That social medium screens questionable messages from Trump, stating that the content may be misleading.
Both Facebook and Twitter do give Trump special treatment, but each in a different way. Twitter allows Trump to break the rules on certain points. The company states that it is important to leave these tweets, because it serves a social interest. The policy applies to all world leaders.
False or misleading messages from politicians, including Trump, are not limited in their reach by Facebook if an independent fact-checker finds that it is unacceptable. The social medium has made an exception for politicians, because it feels they are otherwise limited in their freedom. Fact checkers can check messages, but a false message from a politician, unlike that of normal users, is not dealt with.
Trump will lose both special treatments once he passes the baton to Joe Biden, who won the US presidential election, on January 20.
“As soon as an account is suddenly no longer a world leader, that specific policy goes away,” said Twitter director Dorsey. A Facebook spokesperson says against The New York Times that Trump can be fact-checked as soon as his term as president ends.
Both Facebooks and Twitter’s unique treatment for world leaders is not uncontroversial. For example, while Facebook posts notifications to provide context to Trump’s election reports, the reach of the oversimplified or misleading messages is barely limited, it concluded. BuzzFeed News earlier this week.