Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

In this Aug. 20, 2020, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon speaks with reporters in New York after pleading not guilty to charges that he ripped off donors to an online fundraising scheme to build a southern border wall.

Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/The Associated Press

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg told an all-staff meeting on Thursday 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 U.S. officials, according to a recording heard by 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 U.S. President Donald Trump, who last week lost his re-election bid to Biden.

Story continues below advertisement

“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 offences 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.”

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.”

“Mr. Bannon did not, would not and has never called for violence of any kind,” the spokeswoman, Alexandra Preate, said in a statement.

Last Friday, Facebook took down a network of other Bannon-linked pages that were pushing false claims about the presidential election, after they were flagged to the world’s biggest social media company by activist group Avaaz.

Story continues below advertisement

Avaaz said seven of the largest pages had amassed nearly 2.5 million followers. Stone said Facebook had removed “several clusters of activity for using inauthentic behaviour tactics to artificially boost how many people saw their content.”

Zuckerberg spoke on the issue at a weekly forum with Facebook employees where he is sometimes asked to defend content and policy decisions. A staff member had asked why Bannon had not been banned.

Another employee asked how Facebook was handling criticism of Facebook by Biden and members of his team. Biden told the New York Times in December last year that he had “never been a fan of Facebook” and considered Zuckerberg “a real problem.”

The incoming administration was “not monolithic,” Zuckerberg said. “Just because some people might talk in a way that’s more antagonistic to us, it doesn’t necessarily mean that speaks for what the whole group or whole administration is going to stand for.”

Bannon was arrested in August and has pleaded not guilty to charges of defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors to the $25 million “We Build the Wall” campaign. Bannon has dismissed the charges as politically motivated.

As Trump’s chief White House strategist, Bannon helped articulate Trump’s “America First” policy. Trump fired him in August 2017, ending Bannon’s turbulent tenure.

Story continues below advertisement

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies