Ahead of the verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, Facebook is beefing up content moderation standards.
Among those new standards, Facebook “will remove content that praises, celebrates or mocks George Floyd’s death,” the company said in a blog post on Monday.
Floyd died during an interaction with police in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes, which was captured on video and shared publicly. As a result, Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
That trial is set to conclude in the coming weeks, and Facebook is setting new rules to avoid having the platform be used to organize violence and spread hate speech.
“Our teams are working around the clock to look for potential threats both on and off of Facebook and Instagram so we can protect peaceful protests and limit content that could lead to civil unrest or violence,” Facebook content policy VP Monika Bickert wrote in the blog post. “This includes identifying and removing calls to bring arms to areas in Minneapolis, which we have temporarily deemed to be a high-risk location.”
Facebook has taken similar preventative actions in the past.
But these moves are largely an about-face from CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s previous stance on protected speech on Facebook. In a speech in October 2019, Zuckerberg argued the company shouldn’t fact-check political ads on its platform, “because we think people ought to be able to see for themselves what politicians are saying.”
Facebook now adds labels to misinformation on its platform, including misinformation in political ads, or outright removes them.
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