UPDATED 9:25 AM PT — Saturday, June 27, 2020
Mark Zuckerberg recently announced Facebook will prohibit hate speech from now on. On Friday, the CEO announced the platform will prohibit any advertisements that claim society is threatened by members of a particular race, ethnicity, gender or other protected category.
This came after several major companies threatened to pull Facebook advertisements for the month of July. Zuckerberg specifically noted posts from politicians will be removed if they “incite violence or suppress voting.”
According to the CEO, other posts may be flagged if they do not adhere to the company’s rules.
“We’re going to start labeling content that we find newsworthy that might otherwise violate our policies,” he said. “…If we determine the content may lead to violence or deprive people of their right to vote, we’re going to take that content down, no matter who says it.”
Facebook will also notify users if they try to share a post that has been flagged.
This comes as many social media users on both sides of the aisle have pointed out censorship abuses by big tech.
Attorney General William Barr has addressed how the Department of Justice might handle big tech censorship. In an interview with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Barr claimed the department is investigating several tech companies on the grounds of antitrust laws.
According to reports, he will be announcing specific measures in the next few weeks.
The attorney general is reportedly considering revisions to Section 230, which protects companies from content on their sites and ensures equal speech representation.
“They built up this powerful network, very strong market power, based on the representation that they were sort of open to all as sort of a bulletin board,” explained Barr. “When they got that market power, now they’re censoring views.”
Some of the legal changes may include a requirement for platforms to provide clearer “terms of service” agreements reasons for deleted posts and an appeals process for users.