Trump accuses Facebook of bias, collusion with his least favourite newspapers

Billionaire fight as Zuck decries 'crazy idea' fake news didn't impact election


United States president Donald Trump has declared that Facebook was always against him and tossed it into the same bucket as The New York Times, which he regards as fake news, and The Washington Post, which he says is biased against him because it's owned by Amazon's Jeff Bezos.

As is Trump's habit, his allegation of collusion was offered without a shred of evidence. Perhaps that is why Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's response comes off as a little terse.

“I want to respond to President Trump's tweet this morning claiming Facebook has always been against him,” he opens, going on to opine that “Trump says Facebook is against him. Liberals say we helped Trump. Both sides are upset about ideas and content they don't like.”

Zuckerberg adds that the mere presence of Facebook meant that “ Every [election] topic was discussed, not just what the media covered.” He also laid on his usual “we host so many conversations about everything and that's awesome because it builds communities” line.

But he also felt the need to defend Facebook.

In one such passage he notes that “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.”

The other says “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.”

Zuck goes on to say: “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.”

Comment

Zuckerberg appears to be arguing that fake news and deliberately divisive ads did impact the 2016 US elections, but less so than the dialog on Facebook. But he ignores the fact that dialog on Facebook is not always the civil exchange of ideas he promotes. There's also no comment on the fact that Facebook was late to implement effective filters for hate speech or fake news, but did take the time to screen pictures of womens' breasts as they are deemed too offensive for members to view. ®

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