Former British deputy prime minister says company has other options to deal with misinformation
Facebook’s head of global affairs, Nick Clegg, spelled out the company’s policy for banning public figures on Sunday following his company’s decision to bar former President Donald Trump for at least two years.
Speaking with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week, Mr Clegg was asked whether Mr Trump’s Facebook and Instagram bans would be extended if he continued to make false claims about the 2020 election, as he did in North Carolina over the weekend during an address to supporters.
The former British deputy prime minister explained that merely spreading false information was not enough to warrant a ban from the platform, and added that the speech must instead rise to the level of incitement to violence for moderators to justify removal.
“I don’t think anybody wants a private company like Facebook to be vetting everything that people say on social media for its precise accuracy,” Mr Clegg maintained.
“So the bright red line there is encouraging violence, not spreading lies?” Mr Stephanopoulos asked.
“Yeah,” Mr Clegg responded.
On the threshold for Facebook suspending an account, @GStephanopoulos presses the platform’s Vice Pres. of Global Affairs Nick Clegg: “So the bright red line there is encouraging violence, not spreading lies?”
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 6, 2021
The company’s action against Mr Trump guarantees that he will be off what was once one of his top methods of communication with Americans during the 2022 midterm cycle, while he remains banned from Twitter as well. The decision does leave open the possibility, however, that the former president could return to social media in time for the 2024 election, which he has not ruled out participation in as a candidate.
Mr Trump sharply condemned the company’s decision to uphold his ban in a statement released from his Save America PAC.
“They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing, and ultimately, we will win. Our Country can’t take this abuse anymore!” Mr Trump said on Friday, while echoing his false claims about widespread fraud that he says caused his 2020 election defeat.
“Facebook’s ruling is an insult to the record-setting 75M people, plus many others, who voted for us in the 2020 Rigged Presidential Election,” he continued.