Zuckerberg on U.S. Election: “Facebook Did Not Have an Impact”

November 20, 2016

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has again rejected the idea that the social network, Facebook, affected the U.S. presidential election, according to Yahoo News.

 

In recent months, Facebook has faced many controversies regarding the content that is allowed to be published and what is considered appropriate to every audience. According to Reuters, Facebook has insisted that it is a “technology company, not a media firm.”

 

Scrutiny of the site has heightened since the election of Republican Donald Trump, with critics alleging that the site helped spread lies via fake news stories and hoaxes.

 

Zuckerberg called the idea that Facebook affected the election "crazy" at a conference on Thursday, according to Reuters. He expressed his stance in a late Saturday post that the company would do more to prevent fake news being published.

 

“Such hoaxes represent a sliver of content shared on Facebook and because they are not limited to partisan views or politics, it is unlikely they could have changed the election's outcome,” Zuckerberg said, according to Yahoo News. "Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99 percent of what people see is authentic," he said. Zuckerberg also stated the network's goal is to give every person a voice.

 

In Zuckerberg’s statement, according to Reuters, he says Facebook has launched more tasks for his staff to enable people to flag hoaxes and fake news. A group of top executives at Facebook handle the most difficult content issues.

 

Ahead of the November 8 election, Facebook users saw fake news reports alleging Pope Francis’ endorsement for Donald Trump and that a federal agent who had been investigating Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and her emails was found dead.

 

Senior management has launched a conversation to examine the social network’s involvement in affecting opinions and votes. According to the New York Times, a group of vice presidents and executives began discussing the company's role in the election's outcome.

 

Facebook's policy team was called together and plans to address staff concerns will occur at a broader meeting, according to the New York Times.

 

"After the election, many people are asking whether fake news contributed to the result, and what our responsibility is to prevent fake news from spreading," Zuckerberg said on Saturday. "These are very important questions and I care deeply about getting them right."

 

As of November 2016, Facebook has over 1.8 billion users and is the largest news platform. 44% of Americans get some of their news on the social network, according to Yahoo News.

 

Facebook representatives were not available to comment on the report, according to Reuters.

 

View the entire statement released by Zuckerberg below.

 

 

 

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