- Facebook played a huge rule during the 2016 Presidential elections.
- The social media company will treat all politicians’ posts as newsworthy.
- It will be more difficult to see what is real and what is not on Facebook.
MENLO PARK, Calif. – Facebook announced last week that they do not plan on fact-checking politicians during the 2020 elections.
Facebook has become very prevalent in today’s society. So many people use Facebook that politicians are often on the platform as well. There, politicians can share their views and policy decisions. It is also an important platform to garner support.
As the election cycle moves forward, more politicians will use Facebook as a platform. During the 2016 election, Facebook was known to take down certain politicians’ posts. Facebook wanted to help prevent the spread of false information. But that will not happen in this election cycle.
“We rely on third-party fact-checkers to help reduce the spread of false news and other types of viral misinformation, like memes or manipulated photos and videos. We don’t believe, however, that it’s an appropriate role for us to referee political debates and prevent a politician’s speech from reaching its audience and being subject to public debate and scrutiny. That’s why Facebook exempts politicians from our third-party fact-checking program,” said Nick Clegg, vice president of global affairs at Facebook.
Clegg moves on to say that posts from politicians will fall under the newsworthiness exemption. This exemption allows news stories to stay up on Facebook, no matter what the content is. The only reason why a news story would be removed is if there is a safety risk. Politicians posts will now be considered to be under the newsworthiness exemption. But ads from politicians must still follow Facebook’s community guidelines.
How will this affect the election odds of the candidates who are currently running? This will likely give an advantage to President Trump. The President will now have the ability to post whatever he likes on Facebook. He accused both Twitter and Facebook of censorship in the past. Now both platforms have adjusted their rules to prevent that.
That being said, with impeachment looming, other candidates are gaining on the President. President Trump currently has +125 odds of winning the 2020 elections. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has +275 of becoming the next President of the United States. This is as close as anyone has gotten to overtaking Trump since the beginning of the election. The election cycle has only begun, so anything can happen.