Following the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of these United States of America—still getting used to that—there have been well-reasoned arguments that Facebook and its ability to spread fake news had a role in the result. But Mark Zuckerberg is not having that.
According to a report from TechCrunch, Zuckerberg disavowed the notion that News Feed had anything to do with the country swinging in Trump’s favor while speaking at the Techonomy16 conference. “I’ve seen some of the stories you are talking about around this election and personally I think the idea that fake news on Facebook, of which it’s a very small amount of the content, influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea,” he said. “You know voters make decisions based on their lived experience. We really believe in people. You don’t generally go wrong when you trust that people understand what they care about and what’s important to them and you build systems that reflect that.” Zuckerberg ultimately concluded that the problem his company needs to tackle isn’t false information, but getting people to “engage with” a wider variety of it.
This response would only serve to prove Max Read’s point in a New York magazine piece that: “Facebook has seemed both uninterested in and incapable of even acknowledging that it has become the most efficient distributor of misinformation in human history.” All together now: MARK!