Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been dealing with his fair share of controversy. From the Cambridge Analytica scandal to Facebook's questionable policies and fake news content, more users have grown weary of using the platform. But as if these weren't reason enough to consider quitting the app, Mark recently came forward and shared some interesting criticisms of his own.
His statements led to a ton of backlash, with countless Twitter users calling for everyone to "delete Facebook." But what exactly did he say and what prompted his statement? Let's start at the beginning.
Twitter enforced their civic service policy by adding new labels to Donald Trump's tweets.
On May 26, 2020, for the first time, Twitter flagged one of the president's tweets with a linked message that read "Get the facts about mail-in ballots." The tweet itself falsely claimed that absentee ballots will lead to widespread voter fraud. And when users clicked on that link, they were led to a list of other sources and fact-checkers who claimed that his statements were unsubstantiated.
In a separate tweet, Twitter explained the purpose behind the feature, saying: "We added a label to two @realDonaldTrump Tweets about California’s vote-by-mail plans as part of our efforts to enforce our civic integrity policy. We believe those Tweets could confuse voters about what they need to do to receive a ballot and participate in the election process."
In a follow-up tweet, they provided their civic integrity policy and explained that the intent was to "provide additional context and conversation" when it comes to mail-in-ballots and voter fraud. Several Twitter users applauded the platform for taking initiative, but Mark Zuckerberg wasn't impressed.
Mark Zuckerberg criticized Twitter for fact-checking the president.
Mark has been very outspoken about his beliefs on political censorship, even though he's faced major backlash for allowing sources and politicians to post false claims. In fact, many believe that this helped get Donald Trump into office during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. But even so, Mark still stands by his decision to let users freely share misleading information.
After hearing about Twitter's approach to the president's tweets, Mark revealed that he doesn't believe social platforms should be fact-checking politicians.
He said: "We have a different policy, I think, than Twitter on this, I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn't be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online. In general, private companies probably shouldn't be, especially these platform companies, shouldn't be in the position of doing that."
President Trump seems to agree because he later posted that Twitter is "stifling free speech" and "interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election." But according to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, it was meant to "point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally."
In response to Mark's criticism, Jack explained: "This does not make us an ‘arbiter of truth.' Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves. More transparency from us is critical so folks can clearly see the why behind our actions."
Twitter users are now calling for people to delete Facebook.
In response to his statement, users are calling Mark out for being a fraud because Facebook has censored content in the past, including anti-Trump videos. Some have also gone as far as to share their own experiences with the social network, explaining how they were censored for certain content while their feeds were inundated with fake news.
One user, Deborah Morales, shared: "Because I said I hate the men brandishing long guns and threatening the safety of innocent people, Facebook suspended my account for 3 days. I see their 3 day suspension and raise them a permanent deletion."
Another user, Jeff Lewis, also said: I'm late to the #DeleteFacebook game, but I am done. I watch as close members of my family and friends descend into the black hole of false news that becomes facts to them because its all thats on their feed. They have become angry brainwashed vile people. I'm out."
This isn't the first time that Facebook has been under fire.
As we all know, Facebook has been involved in a plethora of scandals since 2016. They've ranged from censoring historical content to sharing false posts that actually outperformed real news, but none of these things have changed Mark's unyielding devotion to free speech.
Some have accused Mark of turning a blind eye to these issues because he only cares about the business aspect. But in 2019, during his speech at Georgetown University, he tried to address these concerns. He said: "We’re seeing the impulse to restrict speech and enforce new norms around what people can say. Increasingly, we’re seeing people try to define more speech as dangerous because it may lead to political outcomes they see as unacceptable."
He continued: "I personally believe this is more dangerous for democracy over the long term than almost any speech. Democracy depends on the idea that we hold each others’ right to express ourselves and be heard above our own desire to always get the outcomes we want."
And in regard to all the false news, he argued that censoring any content could give certain candidates an unfair advantage. He said: "Political ads are an important part of voice — especially for local candidates, up-and-coming challengers, and advocacy groups that may not get much media attention otherwise. Banning political ads favors incumbents and whoever the media cover."
Despite his lengthy speech, however, people are still criticizing the CEO for his lack of responsibility when it comes to shared content that's so divisive and clearly false. And because of this, many are predicting that the social network will soon become the new MySpace. Perhaps it sounds like a stretch for now, but only time will tell.