Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reiterated his decision to not remove political ads that contain knowingly false and erroneous information, insisting that in a democracy it’s important for the public to “make their own judgments.”
“I don’t think that a private company should be censoring politicians or news,” he told “CBS This Morning” in a sit-down interview alongside his wife, Priscilla Chan, that aired Monday. “I think people should be able to judge for themselves the character of politicians.”
Zuckerberg has repeatedly defended his decision to allow the ads, even as Twitter announced in October that it would ban political ads on its platform, citing concerns about the impact of misinformation.
Critics have argued that if social media platforms don’t ban or fact-check political ads, politicians could intentionally spread falsehoods that affect elections.
A couple hundred of Zuckerberg’s own employees signed a petition in October that argues free speech and political speech don’t deserve the same protections.
In a now-viral speech at an Anti-Defamation League summit on anti-Semitism and hate last month, British actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen also slammed tech companies as propaganda machines.
Had Facebook been “around in the 1930s,” he said, “it would have allowed Hitler to post 30-second ads on his ‘solution’ to the ‘Jewish problem.’”
Chan, a pediatrician and co-founder of the philanthropic company the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, appeared to back her husband’s stance in their CBS interview, sharing her belief that it’s not up to one company to solve society’s problems.
“These are not problems that one person, one company, can fix on their own,” she said. “There’s not gonna be some silver bullet, but we need to work together as a society for that steady progress.”