Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg sang his same old tunes on CBS This Morning today, answering co-host Gayle King’s questions about political ads and anti-trust issues with seemingly well-rehearsed bromides about free speech and the value of “bringing people together.”
Zuckerberg has repeatedly refused to hold Facebook political ads to a standard of truth, despite 200 of his own employees urging him to reconsider the policy, noting “free speech and paid speech are not the same.”
“Well, this is clearly a very complex issue,” Zuckerberg said (watch the video above), “and a lot of people have a lot of different opinions. At the end of the day, I just think that in a democracy, people should be able to see for themselves what politicians are saying.”
At another point in the interview, Zuckerberg reiterated his opinion that Facebook shouldn’t be in the business of fact-checking ads.
“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,” he said. “And, you know, I don’t think that a private company should be censoring politicians or news.”
Zuckerberg’s stance remains in sharp contrast to that held by Twitter’s chief executive Jack Dorsey, who last month announced that Twitter would ban all political ads. Dorsey said in a tweet that political messages “should be earned, not bought.”
The Facebook exec dodged King’s questions about his recent meeting with President Donald Trump, who is an opponent of political ad monitoring. Asked by King whether Zuckerberg discussed political ads with Trump, Zuckerberg said, “I think some of the stuff that people talk about or think gets discussed…are not really how that works… I also want to respect that it was a private dinner and… private discussion.”
Zuckerberg, who appeared on the morning show with wife Priscilla Chan to discuss their philanthropic enterprise The Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, was asked about ongoing federal and state anti-trust investigations into the social media behemoth.
“There’s no question that there are real issues that we need to keep on working on,” Zuckerberg said, effectively dodging the issue. “But I think it’s important to not lose track of just the enormous good that can be done by bringing people together and building community.”
Watch the CBS This Morning segment above.