Mark Zuckerberg hits back at President Trump’s claim that Facebook is against him

Photo by Nick Statt / The Verge

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has issued a public response to a tweet earlier Wednesday from President Trump, who claimed that the social network “was always anti-Trump” during the 2016 presidential campaign. “Trump says Facebook is against him. Liberals say we helped Trump,” Zuckerberg wrote. “Both sides are upset about ideas and content they don't like. That's what running a platform for all ideas looks like.”

Zuckerberg’s statement comes on the same day that Facebook, Google, and Twitter have been asked to testify before Congress on November 1st, where they’ll face questions about Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and how it might have used their platforms to spread misinformation in an attempt to influence the outcome.

Facebook’s chief executive was critical of that notion in the days immediately following the election; Zuckerberg said it was “pretty crazy” to believe Facebook might’ve helped to swing the presidential race. But it has since been revealed that Russia spent over $100,000 on political ads on the Facebook platform with the intention of “amplifying divisive social and political messages.” Facebook groups associated with Vladimir Putin may also have organized pro-Trump rallies on US soil. “After the election, I made a comment that I thought the idea misinformation on Facebook changed the outcome of the election was a crazy idea,” Zuckerberg said today. “Calling that crazy was dismissive and I regret it. This is too important an issue to be dismissive.” That’s the most direct about-face that Zuckerberg has made on his controversial November remarks.

The company has also agreed to provide Congress with Russia-linked ads that moderators told The Verge they were left unprepared to catch, and Zuckerberg on Wednesday delivered a statement to viewers on Facebook Live announcing that the social network will no longer accept untraceable ads. “We’re going to bring Facebook to an even higher standard of transparency,” he said. “Not only will you have to disclose which page paid for an ad, but we will also make it so you can visit an advertiser’s page and see the ads that they are currently running to any audience on Facebook.”

But Zuckerberg is still very, very insistent that Facebook is doing far more to help the democratic process than to harm it. “The data we have has always shown that our broader impact — from giving people a voice to enabling candidates to communicate directly to helping millions of people vote — played a far bigger role in this election.” Facebook hasn’t to this point shared any of that data with its users and the public at large, but here are some of Zuckerberg’s arguments:

- More people had a voice in this election than ever before. There were billions of interactions discussing the issues that may have never happened offline. Every topic was discussed, not just what the media covered.

- This was the first US election where the internet was a primary way candidates communicated. Every candidate had a Facebook page to communicate directly with tens of millions of followers every day.

- Campaigns spent hundreds of millions advertising online to get their messages out even further. That's 1000x more than any problematic ads we've found.

- We ran "get out the vote" efforts that helped as many as 2 million people register to vote. To put that in perspective, that's bigger than the get out the vote efforts of the Trump and Clinton campaigns put together. That's a big deal.

“We will continue to work to build a community for all people,” he wrote today. “We will do our part to defend against nation states attempting to spread misinformation and subvert elections.”

Comments

I’m so tired of Trump and his childish tantrums about every single thing. Most of the country was/is/always will be anti-trump because we are can process multiple thoughts at once.

President Snowflake needs his safe space

Twitter

Facebook can be made into a misinformation weapon, that much is pretty well stablished (and acknowledged by Zuckerberg).

1. South Park’s version of Trump’s twitter profile pic is pitch perfect.

2. If Trump says a. and everyone else says b. that does not put Facebook in the clear. Far from it.

He’s running

Trump reminds me of my primary school days. Whenever I caused problems, my father used to come to school and blame the whole school for my misbehaviour.

"Both sides are upset about ideas and content they don’t like."

This is not about content we "didn’t like," genius. This is about blatant disinformation and propaganda.

It’s time to start ignoring the boy.

Oh just fuck this guy. He knew well in advance of what Russians were doing, and even had an opportunity to stop it but didn’t because he didn’t want to appear biased (?as opposed to concern for the truth?), and Thiel helped which is part of the reason he was brought on during transition. They knew, he knew, and they facilitated because to Zuck it was just another social experiment like messing with people’s timelines or status updates like they were caught doing before.

Trump is a sore looser. Even when he won he still complains.

delete

What a joker Zuck is. Either he or rather FB knew all about the Russian angle and its just in that trove of data he references but won’t release, or he doesn’t and his claims about what was more effective on FB is totally bogus. Can’t have it both ways.

Also, newsflash, we had elections before FB, and almost all of them we’re much less shady than this one.

Until FB somehow contributes to voter registration improvement, I’m not buying any of his BS.

SAD!

Donald Trump and Mark Zuckerberg – two morally bankrupt, greedy pricks. Two peas in a pod. Screw ’em both.

There were billions of interactions discussing the issues that may have never happened offline. Every topic was discussed, not just what the media covered.

Mmm, I’m sure those discussions were very constructive and civil on a platform like Facebook. This guy keeps claiming their platform binds people together and raises equal voices, but It’s just the new ‘mainstream media’ filled opinions flying around creating an information dump. We need exactly the opposite.

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