UPDATE, with video Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos that he’s open to having Facebook regulated but there are limits to what the company can do to limit harmful political posts on its networks.
“It’s not clear to me that we want a private company making that fundamental a decision about what is political speech and how should it be regulated,” he said during the three-minute segment shot at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, CA. “It seems like that’s something there should be a more democratic process around.”
As to the role Facebook played in the 2016 election and other cases where forces from within and without the U.S. managed to weaponize the platform, the executive conceded, “We need new rules” around political advertising. “One of the things that’s unclear is, what is the definition of a political ad?” he said.
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Compared with 2016 and the sequence that followed, with revelations of Russian hacking and malevolent actors like the now-defunct Cambridge Analytica, Zuckerberg said, “I’m confident about where we are now” heading into the 2020 election. The company has invested money and made a concerted publicity effort to show it is serious about tackling the issues on the platform. Still, the Facebook chief echoed comments he has made time and time again, almost reflexively, when confronted with problems of security, transparency, data use, political speech and other problems: “I’m proud of the progress we’ve made. There’s a lot more to do.”
Stephanopoulos asked Zuckerberg if he could guarantee that there won’t be another Russia-style attack on the platform. “What I can guarantee is that they’re definitely going to try,” he said. “Our job is to make the defenses stronger.”
At least he refrained from reprising the classic Facebook motto about “making the world more open and connected.”
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