Daily US Times: On Friday night, social media giant Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained why his company would take no action on posts in which President Trump threatened “looting” in Minneapolis would lead to “shooting.”
The Facebook chief’s explanation came roughly 16 hours after Twitter took action against Trump’s posts. Mr Zuckerberg’s previously told Congress that posts inciting violence would not be tolerated on Facebook.
In a Facebook post, Zuckerberg wrote: “I know many people are upset that we’ve left the President’s posts up.”
“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”, Trump’s posts on Instagram, Facebook, Instagram Twitter read.
Twitter had placed a warning label on it within two-and-a-half hours of the post, saying it glorified violence. But by contrast, Facebook remained silent on the matter for 18 hours until Zuckerberg’s post appeared.
Justifying keeping the controversial posts on Facebook and Instagram, Zuckerberg wrote, “We looked very closely at the post that discussed the protests in Minnesota to evaluate whether it violated our policies. Although the post had a troubling historical reference, we decided to leave it up because the National Guard references meant we read it as a warning about state action, and we think people need to know if the government is planning to deploy force. Our policy around incitement of violence allows discussion around state use of force, although I think today’s situation raises important questions about what potential limits of that discussion should be.”
In October last year, Mr Zuckerburg testified before Congress, saying: “If anyone, including a politician, is saying things that can cause, that is calling for violence or could risk imminent physical harm … we will take that content down.”
Zuckerberg criticized Twitter for its handling of Trump’s posts, saying: “Unlike Twitter, we do not have a policy of putting a warning in front of posts that may incite violence because we believe that if a post incites violence, it should be removed regardless of whether it is newsworthy, even if it comes from a politician.”
Zuckerberg also said in his post that he did not agree with the President’s post.
Zuckerberg had criticized Twitter earlier in the week for fact-checking Trump’s false claims about mail-in ballots in California.