Facebook is under fire once again for decisions regarding content shared on the massive social media network, this time after Steve Bannon’s inflammatory comments that saw his profiles removed from other sites. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was forced to defend the company’s decision not to ban Bannon from the network, both the public and privately during a weekly forum with company employees.
According to Reuters, Zuckerberg says the company will not remove Bannon from the site completely, though it did delete a video he posted last week. The move, and Zuckerberg’s decision to defend it and by extension Bannon, comes after a November 5 video in which the former Breitbart editor and Trump White House employee said FBI director Christopher Wray and Dr. Anthony Fauci should be beheaded for being disloyal to Trump.
“I’d put the heads on pikes. Right. I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats. You either get with the program or you are gone,” Bannon said in the video.
Facebook removed the video but left up Bannon’s page, which has about 175,000 followers. Twitter banned Bannon last week over the same content.
“We have specific rules around how many times you need to violate certain policies before we will deactivate your account completely,” Zuckerberg said. “While the offenses here, I think, came close to crossing that line, they clearly did not cross the line.”
Zuckerberg apparently also addressed president-elect Joe Biden and comments he made on the election trail about both Facebook and Zuckerberg, who he called “a real problem.” Biden admitted that he’s no fan of Facebook, which has been used by both foreign countries like Russia and others to spread disinformation, fuel baseless conspiracy theories like QAnon and attack liberal politicians.
While Twitter has flagged election misinformation and several tweets from Donald Trump in the lead-up and aftermath of the election, many have been critical of Facebook’s more lax policy on all of the above. It doesn’t seem like Zuckerberg’s comments indicate anything will change with Facebook, which means that criticism both inside and out of the company will continue as well.