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Mark Zuckerberg told Fox News that Facebook would not fact-check Trump's false claims as Twitter did

Business Insider logo Business Insider 5/28/2020 tporter@businessinsider.com (Tom Porter)
Dana Perino, Mark Zuckerberg looking at the camera: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Fox News he did not support fact-checking false claims made by politicians on his platform. Fox News © Fox News Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Fox News he did not support fact-checking false claims made by politicians on his platform. Fox News
  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Fox News on Wednesday that his platform would not follow Twitter and fact-check claims by President Donald Trump.
  • "I believe strongly that Facebook shouldn't be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online," Zuckerberg said.
  • On Tuesday, Twitter for the first time added a fact-check warning to a false claim that Trump made.
  • In response, Trump was thought to be preparing to sign an executive order meant to erode social-media companies' legal protections against being sued over the content published on their platforms.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Mark Zuckerberg has said Facebook will not be following Twitter's example to fact-check claims made by President Donald Trump.

The CEO's comments came after Twitter for the first time added a fact-check warning to two tweets by Trump, in which he made false claims about mail-in ballots and voter fraud.

"We have a different policy than Twitter on this," Zuckerberg told Fox News' Dana Perino on Wednesday.

"I believe strongly that Facebook shouldn't be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online. I think in general, private companies shouldn't be, especially these platform companies, shouldn't be in the position of doing that."

On Wednesday night, Trump appeared set to dramatically escalate a dispute with social-media companies as reports indicated he was drawing up an executive order designed to cut back the legal protections shielding them against liability for what is said on their platforms.

On Tuesday, the president had tweeted out a two-part message claiming "There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent."

Twitter tagged both tweets with an exclamation point and a warning message and linked to several news articles debunking the claim.

The president has responded with fury, renewing claims that social-media companies are seeking to censor conservatives.

But a rift is opening between Twitter and Facebook over the best approach to take toward the conspiracy theories, falsehoods, and smears Trump frequently spreads on social media.

On Wednesday, Facebook said it would take no action against an identical message posted by the president on its platform to the one Twitter had fact-checked. Trump has 29.5 million followers on Facebook, compared with more than 80 million on Twitter.

Mark Zuckerberg wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump and Zuckerberg at the White House in September. Facebook/Donald Trump © Facebook/Donald Trump President Donald Trump and Zuckerberg at the White House in September. Facebook/Donald Trump

Facebook has introduced new measures to make misinformation and disinformation less visible on its platform, including false claims about voter registration and voting processes.

But messages from politicians and political campaigns are exempt.

"What I believe is that in a democracy, it's really important that people can see for themselves what politicians are saying, so they can make their own judgments," Zuckerberg told CBS News in December in defense of the policy.

"And, you know, I don't think that a private company should be censoring politicians or news."

His full interview with Fox News was set to air later Thursday.

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