Facebook won't be fact-checking Donald Trump now he's announced he's running for president in 2024
- Facebook's fact-checkers were reportedly instructed not to fact-check former president Donald Trump.
- It's because he's now deemed a politician under Facebook's rules, which exempts him from fact-checking.
Facebook's fact-checkers were reportedly told Tuesday they'd have to stop fact-checking Donald Trump if he announced he was running for president in 2024 — something he did later that day.
CNN reported an internal memo from Meta's news integrity partnership to Facebook's third-party fact-checkers Tuesday as saying: "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."
Facebook says on its website that politicians are exempt from fact-checking, although they lose this protection once they leave office.
Later Tuesday, Trump announced his White House bid.
The memo reported by CNN explained that some Facebook fact-checkers had requested guidance ahead of Trump's speech on Tuesday evening.
"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, per CNN.
It continued: "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."
Meta didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment made outside of US operating hours. Andy Stone, a company spokesperson, told CNN the memo was "a reiteration of our long-standing policy" and it "should not be news to anyone."
Meta suspended Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts in the wake of the Capitol riots on January 6, 2021. However, Trump could soon return to Facebook. In September, senior Meta executive Nick Clegg told Semafor that Trump's ban could be lifted as soon as January.
After Trump left office, any false statements made by him that were posted onto Facebook by other users were eligible for fact-checking, which enables moderators to flag posts containing misinformation and reduce their visibility.
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