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Facebook says it isn’t fact checking politicians on the site

by Ace Damon
Facebook

Barbara Ortutay, Associated Press

Published Wednesday, 25 September 2019 18:54

SAN FRANCISCO – Facebook says it does not verify the statements of politicians on its website, even if they are false.

The social network operator says it's because these statements may be news-worthy – and he doesn't want to act as a "referee" for political debate.

Facebook works with third-party fact verifiers, including the Associated Press, to eliminate misinformation such as fake news and manipulated photos and videos.

Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs, said Facebook had been exempting politician posts from its fact-checking program for over a year. But if politicians share previously unmasked links or other material, they will be demoted and banned from being included in the ads.

"On Facebook, our role is to ensure a level playing field and not be political participants," Clegg said, according to a Facebook transcript published on your site of his speech at the Atlantic Festival in Washington on Tuesday.

Twitter also has a disclaimer in its policy that adds warning labels to politician tweets if they violate the service's rules but involve matters of public interest. Prior to the policy's promulgation in June, Twitter exempted key leaders from many of its rules, claiming that posting their controversial tweets helps hold them accountable and encourages discussion.

Critics say that treating politicians' speech differently gives them a free pass to spread hatred, abuse and misinformation.

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