Mark Zuckerberg backs Trump’s query on Twitter, says social media platforms shouldn’t be “arbiters of truth”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Twitter was wrong to fact-check President Trump’s tweets that made the dubious claim that mail-in ballots increase voter fraud.

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Zuckerberg reasoned that the social media platforms shouldn’t be the “arbiters of truth”

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“We have a different policy, I think, than Twitter on this,” Zuckerberg said in an excerpt from a Fox News interview scheduled to air on The Daily Briefing Thursday.

“I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online,” Zuckerberg went on. “In general, private companies probably shouldn’t be, especially these platform companies, shouldn’t be in the position of doing that.”

Head of Twitter Jack Dorsey responded by saying that the company would “continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally.”

“This does not make us an ‘arbiter of truth,’” Dorsey tweeted. “Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves. More transparency from us is critical so folks can clearly see the why behind our actions.”

Twitter on Tuesday added fact-checking footnotes to two of Trump’s tweets on mail-in voting in the form of hyperlinks with the text “Get the facts about mail-in ballots.”

The decision immediately outraged Trump, who claimed his free speech was being violated. The president on Wednesday promised “big action” against social media sites he believes are censoring Republicans and threatened to “close them down.”

“Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives [sic] voices,” Trump tweeted. “We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016. We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that happen again.”

Facebook, meanwhile, has faced backlash from users who feel the site is not doing enough to police false or harmful content that is posted to its site.

Zuckerberg doesn’t appear to be changing course, though, and was nonplussed on the idea of further government speech regulation on social media platforms.

“Well, I mean, look, I have to understand what they actually would intend to do,” he said. “But in but in general, I think a government choosing to censor a platform because they’re worried about censorship doesn’t exactly strike me as the right reflex there.”

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