The founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, southern Germany, on February 15, 2020.
Christof Stache | AFP | Getty Images
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told CNBC he does not think social networks should be fact-checking what politicians post.
Zuckerberg’s comment came after “Squawk Box” co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin asked him for thoughts on Twitter’s decision to start fact-checking the tweets of President Donald Trump.
Twitter’s move came on Tuesday after Trump tweeted that mail-in ballots would be “substantially fraudulent.” Earlier Tuesday, Twitter declined to censor or warn users after Trump tweeted baseless claims that MSNBC host Joe Scarborough should be investigated for the death of his former staffer.
“I don’t think that Facebook or internet platforms in general should be arbiters of truth,” Zuckerberg told Sorkin in an interview that aired Thursday morning. “Political speech is one of the most sensitive parts in a democracy, and people should be able to see what politicians say.”
Although Facebook does use independent fact-checkers who review content on its social networks, the point of the fact-checkers is to “really catch the worst of the worst stuff,” Zuckerberg said.
“The point of that program isn’t to try to parse words on is something slightly true or false,” he said. “In terms of political speech, again, I think you want to give broad deference to the political process and political speech.”
Facebook announced in October that it would allow politicians to run ads on the social network, even if they include misinformation.
The company, however, does have lines that no one, including politicians, is allowed to cross, Zuckerberg said. No one is allowed to use Facebook to cause violence or harm themselves, or to post misinformation that could lead to voter suppression, Zuckerberg said.
“There are clear lines that map to specific harms and damage that can be done where we take down the content,” he said. “But overall, including compared to some of the other companies, we try to be more on the side of giving people a voice and free expression.”