Facebook warns fact-checkers to hit the brakes on checking Trump's lies: report
Donald Trump pointing at a rally / Gage Skidmore

On Tuesday, CNN reported that an internal memo at Meta, the parent company of Facebook, warns fact-checkers to stop investigating false statements by former President Donald Trump when he declares as a presidential candidate.

"While Trump is currently banned from Facebook, the fact-check ban applies to anything Trump says and false statements made by Trump can be posted to the platform by others. Despite Trump’s ban, 'Team Trump,' a page run by Trump’s political group, is still active and has 2.3 million followers," reported Donie O'Sullivan. "Tuesday’s memo from Meta underscores the challenges social media platforms face in deciding how to handle another potential Trump presidential campaign."

This comes as Trump formally announces his campaign for president at a Tuesday evening announcement at his Mar-a-Lago country club in Palm Beach, Florida, finally ending months of speculation and clearly telegraphed campaign moves that Trump put on hold in part for legal reasons, with the Republican National Committee unable to continue paying his legal bills if he is a presidential candidate.

"The carve-out is not exclusive to Trump and applies to all politicians, but given the rate fact-checkers find themselves dealing with claims made by the former president, a manager on Meta’s 'news integrity partnership' team emailed fact-checkers on Tuesday," said the report. "'Some of you have reached out seeking guidance regarding fact-checking political speech in anticipation of a potential candidacy announcement from former President Trump,' the Meta staffer wrote."

"Meta’s policy doesn’t stipulate that a candidate formally register with the Federal Election Commission," noted the report — although Trump has already filed that paperwork in any case, rendering this distinction moot. "'We define a ‘politician’ as candidates running for office, current office holders – and, by extension, many of their cabinet appointees – along with political parties and their leaders,' the memo stated. It concluded that 'if former President Trump makes a clear, public announcement that he is running for office, he would be considered a politician under our program policies.'"

Trump has notoriously been one of the most exhausting candidates to fact-check. One report from last week showed that the former president lied nearly 100 times in just two recent rally speeches alone.