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Social networks face quandary on politics in misinformation fight

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13.10.2019

As social media firms ramp up their fight against misinformation, politicians have been largely left exempt. To some, that's a huge problem.

Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms have decided to allow politicians including President Donald Trump extra leeway to their rules, seeking to avoid stifling political debate and leaving "newsworthy" content online.

But Trump's efforts to push falsehoods and conspiracy theories have prompted calls for platforms to rethink those guidelines to prevent the president and others from spreading false and misleading information.

Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden recently asked Facebook to take down "debunked" claims in a Trump ad on the leading social network, only to be rebuffed.

In a response to Biden, Facebook said statements by politicians, even if false, are "considered direct speech and ineligible for our third-party fact checking program."

Senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris meanwhile called on Twitter to ban Trump after the president violated the platform's rules by accusing his critics of "treason" and warning that an attempt to impeach him amounted to a "coup."

The candidates' demands are typical of the conundrum social media firms face as they seek to remain........

© Japan Today