On the day when Facebook announced that it will remove fake news and propaganda from its platform, the company has also had to explain why its “news content” on the platform is not fake news but is merely opinion.
The answer, according to a blog post on Facebook’s news and politics section, is that Facebook has “more than 2 billion people” and because Facebook “does not categorize content that is false or misleading, we are not compelled to remove content that has been factually inaccurate.”
The company has previously said that it “does remove content from the internet that is clearly false or that is inaccurate,” though it has not specified what the content is.
Facebook has a “zero tolerance” policy for misinformation and has previously blocked “fake accounts” that it believes violate its standards, including the accounts of journalists, academics, political activists, and others.
“The fact that we do not have to make any decision on content that violates our rules means that it does not come from us,” the company wrote in a blog posting on the news and political section of its news feed.
“We do not censor content that we consider to be false or inaccurate.”
In response to a query on Twitter, Facebook’s VP of News & Politics Mark Thompson explained that the policy is in response to the fact that Facebook’s “most of the content that comes from our community is truthful.”
“We have the ability to remove false content and misinformation from our network and from our platform,” he wrote.
“But it’s important to recognize that the majority of content is true and that our policies are in line with those around the world.”
While Facebook has historically said it does remove “misleading content,” it has recently been forced to make exceptions for articles it deems important or “trendy.”
A post on Tuesday stated that “fake content” was only one of the “types of content” that was “subject to our moderation process.”
Facebook also said that “content that contains serious, potentially harmful information” would be removed.
The company added that it has a process to ensure that “a person is in control of their content” and that the “intent of their posting” was clear.
“When content is fake, the context is not clear, and we have to evaluate whether it falls under our community guidelines and the standards for content we remove,” the blog post said.
“In this case, the intent of the posting was to incite violence against Muslims, and the content contained serious, possibly harmful information.”
Facebook did not specify what the intent was of the post, which came just days after a group of white supremacists at a conference in Virginia announced plans to rally on Facebook to protest the removal of a Confederate statue from a park in Charlottesville.
Facebook said it would not comment on whether it had “received similar or similar hate speech on Facebook.”
The news of the change comes as social media companies continue to struggle with fake news, including Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Twitter, which has seen an explosion in the number of posts on its platform since the election, announced on Monday that it would remove fake accounts and remove misinformation, which was defined as “unverified, false or fake content” in a post on the social network.
Instagram said it was also taking down accounts with misleading content.
Facebook and other companies are also grappling with the problem of fake news.
The social media giant has struggled to combat the spread of misinformation about President Donald Trump, including stories that falsely claim that the president was born in Kenya, or that he was a Russian agent who worked with Russian intelligence.
Facebook also recently launched a “fake-news” tool to help users identify the content of their news feed that they believe violates its terms of service.
The Facebook Newsfeed feature was launched in 2018, after an extensive review of news content, and allows users to mark posts that are “trying to incite or encourage violence against people based on their race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity.”
Facebook has faced criticism from some users who believe the new tool is a way for the company to further marginalize and suppress criticism of the administration and the Trump administration.