Zuckerberg’s surprising answers to Dana Perino’s free speech questions

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sat down with Fox News’ Dana Perino to discuss what role social media should be playing in politics.

“My belief is that in a democracy, I don’t think that we want private companies censoring politicians in the news,” Zuckerberg said in the interview, which aired on Friday on “The Daily Briefing.”

(Screenshot from Fox News’ “The Daily Briefing”)

Zuckerberg’s words come in the midst of politicians, especially on the left, calling for more action from social media companies in politics. Kamala Harris, for instance, has repeatedly called for Twitter to shut down President Donald Trump’s account.

“I generally believe that as a principle, people should decide what is credible and what they want to believe, who they want to vote for,” Zuckerberg said. “And I don’t think that should be something that we want tech companies or any kind of company doing.”

Zuckerberg also addressed recent criticism from Elizabeth Warren. The Massachusetts senator and presidential hopeful claimed last week that Facebook is allowing politicians to run ads with “known lies.”

“Facebook changed its ads policy to allow politicians to run ads with known lies—explicitly turning the platform into a disinformation-for-profit machine. This week, we decided to see just how far it goes,” tweeted Warren. “We intentionally made a Facebook ad with false claims and submitted it to Facebook’s ad platform to see if it’d be approved. It got approved quickly and the ad is now running on Facebook.”

She also included the fake news ad:

In a live-streamed company meeting, Zuckerberg addressed Warren’s thoughts by saying, “even when people disagree with what I think would be good to happen in the world, I still want to give them a voice — that’s what we’re here to do.”

He also said he will “try not to antagonize [Warren] further.”

Zuckerberg was a little more restrained in his answer to Perino.

“Political speech is one of the most scrutinized [forms of] speech that is out there, so that’s already happening,” Zuckerberg said. “Our position on this is not an outlier.”

Source: Fox News

Some on the left have called for breaking up companies like Facebook, which Zuckerberg does not see as a real solution to anything.

“I don’t think that that’s the right answer. You know, I think that there are real issues there. There are issues around protecting elections and what political discourse should be allowed. There’s issues around what content should be allowed. There are privacy questions. There’s [sic] also questions around, people should also be able to take their data to other apps for, you know, to facilitate innovation and competition,” he said. “And, you know, academic research that we can advance society that way. But I basically think each of those problems requires work on our part, but also clearer rules that I think have to come from either the government or some kind of independent self-regulatory situation.”

The 35-year-old billionaire did at one point say he believes the government can step in and make clearer rules when it comes to the internet’s role in policing political speech.

Source: Fox News

“I think that there are a number of real issues right now. And you know, earlier this year I actually I wrote an op-ed calling for four areas where I thought the Internet would benefit from the government setting some clear rules and was around, you know, what content is permitted — permissible — in elections and ads, some about content in general, privacy and data portability,” Zuckerberg said. “We as a company have the greatest responsibility here to make sure that we proactively make sure that there isn’t harm or danger happening on our platform.”

Perino also asked about accusations of Facebook and other big tech companies holding a bias toward conservatives. While Zuckerberg wasn’t ready to admit anything, he said he could see how the perception has been made in many people’s minds.

Source: Fox News

“I don’t think that the services themselves — I haven’t seen a lot of data — that suggests that there’s a negative impact. In fact, a lot of conservative media does quite well on social media, not just Facebook but the others as well,” Zuckerberg said. “But look, I mean, California is an overwhelmingly left-leaning place. If you look at the political donations from the tech companies, 90 percent of them go towards Democrat candidates, so I understand why people would ask the question of: ‘Are my ideas getting a fair shake?'”

“All that I can say on this is: this is something I care deeply about,” he added. “I want to make sure we can be a platform for all ideas.”

Discussing her exclusive interview with Zuckerberg on “The Five,” Perino asked for input from her co-hosts about accusations that Facebook is policing conservative speech more than liberal speech.

“He [Zuckerberg] admits that the social media industry is overwhelmingly liberal,” Greg Gutfeld said in reaction. “But he says it doesn’t have an effect on access for conservatives. I would argue that’s because the customers are doing a lot of the policing. The customers are throwing a racket. If the Right wasn’t throwing a racket, it would get pretty bad.”

Gutfeld also argued that liberals with “garbage majors” are getting key jobs in HR and PR at social media companies and then “infect the work world” with their biases.

Juan Williams predictably argued that platforms like social media should be more active in protecting politicians like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi who are attacked by people like president.

“He [Zuckerberg] goes to Dana and he says, ‘oh ya, this is a First Amendment issue. We protect free speech.’ You know what? He’s protecting his profits,” Williams argued.

“They make about pocket change on political ads,” Perino shot back, a point Zuckerberg also made in their interview.

Williams then began bringing up Russia allegedly interfering in the 2016 presidential election and Perino wisely ended the segment.

Check out that commentary on the interview below:

Source: Fox News


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