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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Facebook will begin labelling posts that break its rules but are deemed "newsworthy" — for instance, because they come from public figures — CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Friday.

Why it matters: This is Facebook's attempt to thread the needle between allowing inflammatory posts from politicians and tamping down on problematic content.

Context: The company previously let figures like President Trump freely post material that appeared to violate policies around issues like targeted harassment and hate speech.

  • The new policy echoes Twitter's approach to such content, which has drawn ire from Trump and other conservatives.

Details: During a livestream of a company town hall meeting Friday, Zuckerberg compared the new label to how news outlets report on what a politician says.

  • Users will still be able to share the content, but Facebook will add a prompt telling people that it may violate company's policies.
  • Zuckerberg emphasized that there is no newsworthy exemption to posts that violate Facebooks' policies on content that may lead to violence or deprive people of their right to vote.
  • "We're going to take that content down no matter who says it," Zuckerberg said.

What they're saying: "A handful of times a year, we make a decision to leave up content that would otherwise violate our policies because we consider that the public interest value outweighs the risk of that content," Zuckerberg said. "And you know often here, seeing speech from politicians is in the public interest."

Other changes Zuckerberg announced include attaching a link to Facebook's Voting Information Center on posts that discuss voting, and prohibiting a wider category of hateful content in ads.

  • That includes banning claims that people from a specific race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, gender identity or immigration status are a threat to the safety or health of others.
  • The policy change is also aimed at better protecting immigrants, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers from ads that would denigrate them.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Oct 2, 2020 - Technology

Get ready for a flood of deepfakes, experts warn

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

If social media platforms don't start dealing much more aggressively with altered audio and video, they risk seeing their platforms devolve into a sea of faked content, experts tell Axios.

Why it matters: The platforms are already struggling to deal with manipulated media, and the technology to create "deepfakes," which are fabricated media generated by machine-learning-based software, is improving rapidly.

Ohio special election win cements Jim Clyburn’s kingmaker status

Jim Clyburn. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Rep. Jim Clyburn is cementing his Biden-era kingmaker status with Shontel Brown's win in Ohio,  showing progressives he has a finger on the pulse of Democratic Party politics in a way they must acknowledge.

Driving the news: "I was going to stay right here in South Carolina minding my business until I got called stupid,” Clyburn told Axios in an interview Wednesday.

Manhattan, Westchester prosecutors request evidence from Cuomo investigation

Gov. Cuomo during a press conference in New York City on Aug. 2. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

The district attorneys for Manhattan and Westchester County on Wednesday requested evidence related to New York Attorney General Letitia James' investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), according to a letter obtained by NBC News.

Why it matters: The district attorneys are investigating if alleged conduct highlighted in an independent report published by James' office that occurred in their jurisdictions was criminal in nature.

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