• 02.19.16

Should Facebook Censor Trump?

Social media networks are great for expressing and exchanging ideas–but where do you draw the line between free speech and hate speech?

Donald Trump is infamous for making remarks that some people consider to be racist, Islamaphobic, and sexist. Some of these remarks are posted to his Facebook and Twitter channels, in addition to contentious content that he or his social media team reposts or retweets. These posts often fall on the border of the hate speech policies that govern these social media networks.


On the 29th Floor, we conducted a test, reposting to our own Facebook profile pages a video Donald Trump uploaded to his Facebook page in which he called for a ban on all Muslims from entering the United States. We then reported each other’s posts, in addition to Mr. Trump’s post. Facebook took our posts down, but Donald Trump’s was allowed to stay–and we found out from talking to insiders at Facebook that Trump’s post may very well violate internal guidelines that determine what gets to be said on Facebook, and what doesn’t.

Does Facebook apply a double standard to celebrities and common people? Are Facebook’s conflicts of interest between building a popular business and creating a tolerant community at play? And where should Facebook draw the line? Click play to find out–then tell us what you think using #29thfloor.