Social media giant Facebook on Friday announced that it would flag all “newsworthy” posts by politicians that break its rules, including those of US President Donald Trump.
The announcement came as Facebook’s stock price dropped over 8 per cent, erasing around $50 billion of its market valuation as a number of companies announced they would boycott advertising on the platform, citing hate speech and divisive rhetoric on it.
European brands Ben & Jerry’s and Dove announced they would boycott Facebook ads till the end of the year, while Coca-Cola announced a boycott of at least 30 days.
Facebook had been facing criticism over not policing posts by Trump even as Twitter announced a decision to implement fact-checks on the US president’s posts.
Associated Press reported, “Until Friday, Trump’s posts with identical wording to those labelled on Twitter remained untouched on Facebook, sparking criticism from Trump’s opponents as well as current and former Facebook employees. Now, Facebook is all but certain to face off with the president the next time he posts something the company deems to be violating its rules.”
“The policies we’re implementing today are designed to address the reality of the challenges our country is facing and how they’re showing up across our community,” Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page on the changes. Zuckerberg added Facebook is taking steps to counter election-related misinformation.
Facebook will begin adding labels to all posts about voting that will direct users to authoritative information from state and local election officials.