Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has said that Twitter Inc. should not be fact-checking President Donald Trump — or anybody.
His infamous quote can be seen on Fox News’s “The Daily Briefing,” which will be aired in full Thursday, the Facebook Inc. co-founder and chief executive said companies shouldn’t be the truth police.
“I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online.” — Mark Zuckerberg
“We have a different policy than Twitter on this,” he said. “Private companies probably shouldn’t be, especially these platform companies, shouldn’t be in the position of doing that.”
Facebook ironically in March removed a Trump campaign ad that had been called misleading about the U.S. Census.
The rivalry between the two tech giants have been brought to the full glare and have seen the two billionaires at the opposite end of the stick when it comes to fact checking authority figures.
Twitter co-founder and Chief Executive Jack Dorsey responded to Zuckerberg’s comments in a series of tweets Wednesday night.
“We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally,” he said. “This does not make us an ‘arbiter of truth.’ 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.”
Donald Trump had threatened to shut down social media platforms accusing them of muzzling truth and influencing votes.
In the interview, Zuckerberg also said Trump should not vent his anger on social-media companies.
“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,” he said.
Trump has envisaged using High Power to regulate and decentralize social-media companies that attempt to “silence conservative voices.”
Trump will sign an executive order concerning social-media companies on Thursday. It was unclear what the order would entail. Earlier in the day, Trump threatened to “strongly regulate” or close down social-media companies that attempt to “silence conservative voices.”
Social media companies are torn between a rock and a hard place heralding the voice of the majority and appeasing the voice of the minority. How they are perceived by the public could have a lasting impact on brand loyalty.
Twitter laid out rules earlier in May about disputed or misleading tweets, saying they will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and only removed if they are harmful.
Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites have been harshly criticized in recent years over their failures to monitor misinformation on their platforms.