Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg defended the decision to allow false political ads to remain on the social media site, saying the company shouldn’t be in the censorship business.
“What I believe is that in a democracy, it’s really important that people can see for themselves what politicians are saying, so they can make their own judgments. And, you know, I don’t think that a private company should be censoring politicians or news,” Zuckerberg said Monday on “CBS This Morning.”
In October, hundreds of Facebook employees wrote to Zuckerberg and other company officials to condemn the policy.
“Free speech and paid speech are not the same thing,” the employees said in the letter. “Misinformation affects us all. Our current policies on fact-checking people in political office, or those running for office, are a threat to what FB stands for. We strongly object to this policy as it stands.”
Asked about the letter during the CBS interview, Zuckerberg said “this is clearly a very complex issue.”
“A lot of people have a lot of different opinions,” he said, repeating his stand that people need to “see for themselves what politicians are saying.”
Zuckerberg also said President Trump didn’t try to lobby him during a private meeting in October at the White House.
The meeting was not previously disclosed and only surfaced later in news reports.
Asked if Trump tried to lobby him about Facebook’s policies by host Gayle King, Zuckerberg said “No.”
“I mean, I don’t think that that’s – that – I think some of the stuff that people talk about or think gets discussed and these discussions are not really how that works,” Zuckerberg said. “I also want to respect that it was a private dinner and … private discussion.”
The White House meeting came amid Zuckerberg’s testifying on Capitol Hill about the platform’s new cryptocurrency, Libra, and as Facebook faced anti-trust investigations over its dominance of the social-media marketplace.
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