But two years later, Zuckerberg and Facebook are still struggling with their responsibilities and how to handle one of their most famous users: President Donald Trump.
His phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” mirrors language used by a Miami police chief in the late 1960s in the wake of riots. Its use was immediately condemned by a wide array of individuals, from historians to members of rival political campaigns. Former Vice President and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden said Trump was “calling for violence against American citizens during a moment of pain for so many.”
But the exact same message, saying “looting” will lead to “shooting” and referencing “THUGS,” was posted to Trump’s Facebook account at 1:10am ET, just a few minutes after his initial tweet. The President’s message was also posted to Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.
As of publication, the posts remained up on both platforms without any label. And while Trump may be more closely associated with his Twitter account, he still has tens of millions of followers on Facebook. His Facebook post has been shared more than 47,000 times and had more than 200,000 reactions and the Instagram post had more than 300,000 likes.
Facebook did not comment Friday morning on whether it would do anything about the posts.
Facebook’s inaction on the posts so far is just the latest example highlighting a diverging approach between two of the most prominent social networks in how they handle some of Trump’s most controversial posts.
“We have a different policy than, I think, Twitter on this,” Zuckerberg said “I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online.”
Facebook appeared to be leaning on its previously declared policy of not fact-checking politicians. But Zuckerberg has said there would be some exceptions to that controversial policy, including the threat of violence.
“Even for politicians we don’t allow content that incites violence or risks imminent harm — and of course we don’t allow voter suppression,” Zuckerberg said in a speech in Washington last year.