Mark Zuckerberg defends against suspending former Trump aide Bannon from Facebook
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said at an all-staff meeting Thursday that Trump’s former White House adviser Steve Bannon had not violated company policies enough to justify his suspension when he urged beheading. two top US officials, according to a recording heard by Reuters.
Zuckerberg Recognized critic of Facebook by the president-elect Joe biden But he said the company shared some of the same concerns as Biden’s team about social media. He urged employees not to jump to conclusions about how the new administration might approach regulation of social media companies.
Bannon suggested in a video posted on Nov. 5 that FBI Director Christopher Wray and government infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci should be beheaded, saying they had been disloyal to the US president. Donald trump, who last week lost his re-election bid to Biden.
“I would put heads on pikes. Right. I would put them on both corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats. Either you follow the program or you go,” Bannon said in the video.
Facebook removed the video but left Bannon’s page, which has around 1.75,000 followers. Twitter Bannon banned last week for the same content.
“We have specific rules about how many times you must violate certain policies before we completely deactivate your account,” Zuckerberg said. “While the offenses here, I think, came close to crossing that line, they clearly didn’t cross the line.”
Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said the company would take further action against Bannon’s page “if there are additional violations.”
Last Friday, Facebook removed a network of other Bannon-linked pages promoting false claims about the presidential election, after activist group Avaaz named them the world’s largest social media company.
Avaaz said seven of the largest sites had amassed nearly 2.5 million followers. Stone said Facebook had removed “various activity groups for using inauthentic behavioral tactics to artificially increase the number of people who viewed their content.”
Bannon could not immediately be reached for comment.
Zuckerberg spoke about the issue in a weekly forum with Facebook employees where he is sometimes asked to defend content and political decisions. A staff member asked why Bannon had not been banned.
Another employee asked how Facebook was handling criticism of Facebook from Biden and members of his team. Biden told the New York Times in December last year that he had “never been a fan of Facebook” and considered Zuckerberg “a real problem.”
The incoming administration “was not monolithic,” Zuckerberg said. “The fact that some people can speak in a more antagonistic way with us does not necessarily mean that it speaks for what the whole group or the entire administration is going to defend.”
Arrested in August, Bannon has pleaded not guilty to charges of defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors in the $ 25 million (approximately Rs 200 million) “We Build the Wall” campaign. Bannon has dismissed the charges for political reasons.
As Trump’s chief strategist in the White House, Bannon helped articulate Trump’s “America First” policy. Trump fired him in August 2017, ending Bannon’s turbulent tenure.