Facebook Inc’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said Monday that the world’s largest social network had no plans to lift its ban on US President Donald Trump’s accounts, while the company cracked down on a phrase that it has become a rallying cry for the president’s supporters.
Sandberg, speaking during the conference Reuters Next, said she was glad Facebook had frozen Trump’s accounts, which came as tech giants rushed to crack down on her unfounded claims of fraud in the U.S. presidential election amid riots in Washington last week. pass.
Hours later, the company banned the phrase “stop theft” altogether, citing the use of the term to organize events that challenge the outcome of the US presidential election that have a propensity for violence.
If Trump wanted to appeal the removal of its content, that could happen through the company’s new Oversight Board, he added. Facebook said Trump could not appeal the actual suspension through the board.
“This shows that the president is not above the policies that we have,” Sandberg said, speaking with the columnist for Reuters Breakingviews, Gina Chon.
Twitch joins Instagram and Facebook, and blocks Trump’s account
On Wednesday, Twitter took a similar action after the assault by Trump supporters on the US Capitol. Before, it had censored three tweets for their controversial content and warned that if the president himself did not delete them, “the account will remain blocked.”
Facebook executives have long treated police speech posted by politicians with silk hands, arguing that people have the right to see the statements of their leaders.
The company backtracked a bit from that position and began applying labels to the president’s posts after facing a backlash this summer, including an advertising boycott, when he refused to act against Trump’s incendiary rhetoric surrounding anti-protests. racism across America.
He backtracked and banned Trump indefinitely from the platform following last week’s riots, which culminated in the assault on the United States Capitol.
Violent rhetoric on social media platforms, including Facebook, had intensified in the weeks leading up to the rallies as groups openly planned the meetings, according to researchers and public posts, prompting criticism of companies for not take more aggressive action in advance.
Sandberg acknowledged that Facebook may have overlooked some of those posts, but said he believed the events were largely staged on other platforms.
He said the company was on the lookout for other possible armed protests being planned for Washington, DC and in all 50 US state capitals in the lead up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, prompting a warning from the FBI.
When asked why Facebook had failed to take comparable action against other leaders such as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, who have also been accused of inciting violence online, Sandberg said the policies of the company would apply globally.