Zuckerberg: ‘Just wrong’ to say conservatives drive Facebook
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said it’s “just wrong” to say that conservatives drive Facebook in an interview that aired Tuesday.
Zuckerberg denied on “Axios on HBO” that Facebook is a “right-wing echo chamber” though statistics that show Facebook’s most engaged content comes from conservative voices.
During the interview, Axios’s Mike Allen identified the social media platform as a “real right-wing echo chamber,” saying “some of the loudest voices” are conservatives.
“I think your characterization, frankly, is just wrong,” Zuckerberg replied. “I don’t think that the service is ‘a right-wing echo chamber,’ to use your words.”
“I think that you know everyone can use their voice and can find media that they trust that reflects the opinions and the life experiences that they’re having,” he said, adding “It’s not clear to me that’s a bad thing.”
When asked about the high engagement with conservative posts, the CEO said “It’s true that partisan content often has kind of a higher percent of people … engaging with it, commenting on it, liking it.”
“But I think it’s important to differentiate that from, broadly, what people are seeing and reading and learning about on our service,” he added.
Zuckerberg called out a “meme” that categorizes Facebook’s “algorithm” as “just trying to find things that are going to kind of enrage people somehow,” saying “that’s not actually how our systems work.”
The CEO attributed the “rage” on Facebook to people across the country being “exercised … for a lot of good reasons.”
“I think sometimes there is a fine line between an important level of high energy around an important issue and something that can kind of tilt over into causing harm,” he said.
Facebook has also recently rejected ads from an anti-vaccination group and taken down the pages of Patriot Prayer, a far-right group that operates in the Pacific Northwest, in an attempt to stop “violent social militia.”
The interview with Zuckerberg comes days after the social media platform announced that it will not allow political ads to appear on the platform for seven days ahead of the 2020 election.
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