ZUCKERBERG DEFENDS NON-SUSPENSION OF BANNON’S FB ACCOUNT
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg told an all-staff meeting that former Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon had not violated enough of the company's policies to justify his suspension when he urged the beheading of two senior US officials, according to a recording heard by Katie Paul of Reuters.
Zuckerberg acknowledged criticism of Facebook by President-elect Joe Biden but said the company shared some of the Biden team’s same concerns about social media. He urged employees not to jump to conclusions about how the new administration might approach regulation of social media companies.
Bannon suggested in a video posted on Nov. 5 that FBI Director Christopher Wray and government infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci should be beheaded, saying they had been disloyal to US President Donald Trump, who last week lost his re-election bid to Biden. A Bannon spokeswoman said his comments were “clearly meant metaphorically” and alluded to a reference Bannon had made the day prior to the treason trial of Thomas More in Tudor England “for rhetorical purposes.”
“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.” Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said the company would take further action against Bannon’s page “if there are additional violations.”