Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t see much of a problem with the rampant sites that offered up pro-Trump fake news stories ahead of the election. While many of these stories that made up complete falsehoods about Hillary Clinton – including accusing her of murder – had a possible role in determining who people chose to run the country, the young billionaire dismissed the concerns.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is pushing back against charges that the proliferation of fake news on Facebook was one of the factors that contributed to Donald Trump’s meteoric rise to the White House.
“To think it influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea,” Zuckerberg said Thursday at the Techonomy conference in Half Moon Bay, Calif. He insisted only a “small amount” of fake news circulated on Facebook during this campaign, an unprecedented race that unfolded on social media as much as it unfolded on the physical campaign trail.
In reality, many Facebook users – which now includes hundreds of millions of people – reported a surge in these stories over the last year. Some of that came when Facebook succumbed to right wing pressure and removed human editors from its sorting process.
Instead, these right-wing fake news stories swarmed people’s Facebook feeds, reinforcing lie about the Democratic nominee while lining the pockets of European groups who had set them up, according to some reports.
While Zuckerberg has publicly allied himself with the left, Facebook stands to profit handsomely from fake news, and the likely anti-regulation atmosphere a Republican White House will bring.