Hillicon Valley — Trump rhetoric could test new Meta rules
Meta is letting former President Trump back on its platforms, but the 2024 candidate will have to change the style of his social media posts if he doesn’t want to get booted again.
Meanwhile, Twitter and Tesla CEO Elon Musk was in town this week, meeting with House leaders Thursday and White House officials on Friday.
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How Trump has to change Facebook posts to stay on
Former President Trump will need to adjust his social media style if he wants to keep his newly restored Facebook and Instagram accounts.
- A number of the 2024 presidential candidate’s posts on his Truth Social platform would run afoul of Meta, which has stricter content enforcement and set guardrails for his reinstatement.
- One opponent of the reinstatement described this situation as a “landmine” for Meta.
Trump was suspended from Twitter and Facebook roughly two years ago in the wake of posts about the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol that officials said incited violence.
Since then, Trump has been posting a mix of his own commentary and sharing content from supportive accounts on Truth Social, a platform he helped create.
But a quick scan of his Truth Social account shows he often dabbles in the kind of content that got him in trouble on other platforms.
Musk’s meetings in Washington
Twitter CEO Elon Musk met with Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in the Capitol on Thursday, a meeting that focused on the explosive topic of ensuring that Twitter is even-handed in its approach to both the Democratic and Republican Parties, according to Musk’s account of the conversation.
- Musk also met briefly with the top House Democrat, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.), who was meeting with McCarthy around the time that Musk arrived, according to a source familiar with the encounter.
- “Just met with @SpeakerMcCarthy & @RepJeffries to discuss ensuring that this platform is fair to both parties,” Musk wrote on Twitter Thursday afternoon.
McCarthy, who turned 58 on Thursday, declined to discuss the conversation, quipping that Musk was visiting the Capitol merely to commemorate his special day.
Read more about Musk’s meetings at the House here.
EV TALKS AT WHITE HOUSE
Musk, who also serves as CEO of Tesla, met Friday with White House officials to discuss electrification and electric vehicles (EVs).
Musk sat down with Mitch Landrieu and John Podesta, who are in charge of the implementation of the bipartisan infrastructure law and Democrats’ 2022 climate, tax and health care law, respectively.
They met “to discuss electrification and how the bipartisan infrastructure law and Inflation Reduction Act can advance [electric vehicles],” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.
Read more about his meeting with White House officials here.
JUDGE BLOCKS CALIFORNIA’S HEALTH MISINFORMATION LAW
A federal judge has temporarily blocked a California law intended to prevent doctors from spreading COVID-19 misinformation or disinformation to patients, finding that it is “unconstitutionally vague.”
A group of five doctors and two nonprofit advocacy groups sued in November after California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed Assembly Bill 2098 into law the month before.
The law states that disseminating misinformation or disinformation to patients related to COVID-19 — including information about the risks of the virus, prevention and treatment methods and vaccines — should be considered “unprofessional conduct.”
But U.S. District Judge William Shubb ruled Wednesday that the law’s definition of misinformation violates the Due process Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution due to vagueness.
AP DELETES VIRAL ‘THE’ FRENCH TWEET
The Associated Press has deleted a tweet giving guidance on AP style that went viral over its inclusion of “the French” as a phrase to be avoided.
- The AP Stylebook’s Twitter account on Thursday posted recommendations to avoid the use of “the” before certain descriptors “such as the poor, the mentally ill, the French, the disabled, [and] the college-educated” because that phrasing can be “dehumanizing.”
- The post went viral with many Twitter users responding and making jokes about the inclusion of “the French.”
The French Embassy in the United States was one of the accounts that responded to the post, posting a screenshot of it changing its name from “French Embassy U.S.” to “Embassy of Frenchness in the U.S.”
“I guess this is us now…” it quipped.
BITS & PIECES
An op-ed to chew on: With China at the wheel, America’s EV journey may be a bumpy ride
Notable links from around the web:
Amazon Fresh is more than quadrupling how much you’ll need to pay to get free grocery delivery (The Verge / Jay Peters)
Managers Are Already Trying to Bust eBay’s First Union, Organizers Say (Motherboard / Jules Roscoe)
Pelosi Attack Footage Unlikely To Hammer Conspiracy Theories, Experts Say (The San Fransisco Standard / Matthew Kupfer)
One more thing: Examining DirecTV’s Newsmax drop
DirecTV’s decision this week to drop Newsmax is the latest blow to a handful of conservative media outlets that have sought to carve out a space for themselves in the wake of former President Trump’s election loss in 2020.
While the far-right ecosystem has exploded over the decision, with figures including Trump accusing DirecTV of political bias, media experts say Newsmax is simply seeking to bolster its bargaining power as it struggles with low ratings.
“This is no different than the contract disputes that arise every few years between sports channels and DirecTV, Comcast, etc.,” said Dave Karpf, an associate professor at George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs.
“They’re fighting over fee structures. Negotiations broke down. Newsmax is trying to expand the conflict, in the hopes that viewer outrage and a few letters on congressional stationery will strengthen their negotiating position.”
That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Technology and Cybersecurity pages for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you next week.
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