What a country some of us live in. Earlier this morning, President Donald Trump said Facebook “was always anti-Trump.” Now, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has responded, posting on Facebook that the point of Facebook is to “give all people a voice and create a platform for all ideas.” He also said he regretted dismissing the idea that fake news on Facebook changed the outcome of the election.
After the results came out, a lot of people pointed the finger at Facebook, saying all of the fake news on Facebook led to Trump’s election. At the time, Zuckerberg dismissed the idea that fake news led to his election. He feels differently now.
“Calling that crazy was dismissive and I regret it,” Zuckerberg wrote. “This is too important of an issue to be dismissive. But the data we have has always shown that our broader impact — from giving people a voice to enabling candidates to communicate directly to helping millions of people vote — played a far bigger role in this election.”
In his post today, Zuckerberg also wrote that while Trump says Facebook is against him, on the other side, liberals are saying Facebook helped Trump.
“Both sides are upset about ideas and content they don’t like,” Zuckerberg wrote. “That’s what running a platform for all ideas looks like.”
During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Zuckerberg notes the billions of interactions around politics that happened on Facebook, how candidates were able to use Facebook to interact with their followers and how Facebook ran “get out the vote” campaigns, which Zuckerberg says resulted in as many as 2 million people registering to vote.
Here’s Zuck’s post:
I want to respond to President Trump’s tweet this morning claiming Facebook has always been against him.
Every day I work to bring people together and build a community for everyone. We hope to give all people a voice and create a platform for all ideas.
Trump says Facebook is against him. Liberals say we helped Trump. Both sides are upset about ideas and content they don’t like. That’s what running a platform for all ideas looks like.
The facts suggest the greatest role Facebook played in the 2016 election was different from what most are saying:
– More people had a voice in this election than ever before. There were billions of interactions discussing the issues that may have never happened offline. Every topic was discussed, not just what the media covered.
– This was the first US election where the internet was a primary way candidates communicated. Every candidate had a Facebook page to communicate directly with tens of millions of followers every day.
– Campaigns spent hundreds of millions advertising online to get their messages out even further. That’s 1000x more than any problematic ads we’ve found.
– We ran “get out the vote” efforts that helped as many as 2 million people register to vote. To put that in perspective, that’s bigger than the get out the vote efforts of the Trump and Clinton campaigns put together. That’s a big deal.
After the election, I made a comment that I thought the idea misinformation on Facebook changed the outcome of the election was a crazy idea. Calling that crazy was dismissive and I regret it. This is too important an issue to be dismissive. But the data we have has always shown that our broader impact — from giving people a voice to enabling candidates to communicate directly to helping millions of people vote — played a far bigger role in this election.
We will continue to work to build a community for all people. We will do our part to defend against nation states attempting to spread misinformation and subvert elections. We’ll keep working to ensure the integrity of free and fair elections around the world, and to ensure our community is a platform for all ideas and force for good in democracy.