Facebook No Longer Fact-Checking Candidate Donald Trump (Newsmax)
By Charlie McCarthy | Wednesday, 16 November 2022 08:32 AM EST
Facebook will not fact check comments made by former President Donald Trump now that he officially has announced a campaign for president in 2024, CNN reported.
A Meta company memo sent Tuesday to staffers made clear that if Trump announced a presidential run, he no longer could be fact-checked on the platform because politicians are exempt from the process, CNN reported.
Later Tuesday night, Trump officially kicked off his 2024 presidential campaign.
Although Trump's Facebook account has been suspended, the fact-check ban also applies to anything he says that's posted to the platform by others.
"Team Trump," a page run by the former president's political group, remains active on the platform and has 2.3 million followers.
"Some of you have reached out seeking guidance regarding fact-checking political speech in anticipation of a potential candidacy announcement from former President Trump," a manager on Meta's "news integrity partnership" team emailed fact-checkers on Tuesday before Trump's announcement.
The memo noted that "political speech is ineligible for fact-checking. This includes the words a politician says as well as photo, video, or other content that is clearly labeled as created by the politician or their campaign."
A candidate need not formally register with the Federal Election Commission to be considered a politician, according to Meta's policy.
"We define a 'politician' as candidates running for office, current office holders – and, by extension, many of their cabinet appointees – along with political parties and their leaders," the memo stated, CNN reported.
"If former President Trump makes a clear, public announcement that he is running for office, he would be considered a politician under our program policies," the memo concluded, according to CNN.
Meta spokesman Andy Stone told CNN the memo was "a reiteration of our long-standing policy should not be news to anyone."
Facebook's policy states that politicians are exempt from fact-checking, although they lose this protection once they leave office.
Trump was suspended from Facebook and Instagram soon after Jan. 6, 2021, when demonstrators stormed the Capitol.
The former president could return to Facebook soon. Senior Meta executive Nick Clegg in September told Semafor that Trump's ban could be lifted as soon as January.
Parent company Meta pays third-party fact-checking organizations to apply fact-check labels to misinformation across Facebook and Instagram.
Both Republicans and Democrats have criticized Meta's fact-checking program. Many GOP members say the fact-checking goes too far, and many Democrats say it doesn't go far enough.