Zuckerberg Sticks With Trump

Mike Isaac and Cecilia Kang, reporting for The New York Times:

Twitter’s face-off escalated Friday morning, when the company attached an addendum to one of Mr. Trump’s tweets. The company said the tweet had the potential to incite violence amid protests in Minneapolis. Facebook didn’t do anything when the same post was added to its service.

Jack Dorsey, chief executive of Twitter, took to his site not long after to say Twitter would not back down, presenting a stark contrast to Mr. Zuckerberg, who, in an interview a day earlier with Fox News, said Facebook wasn’t going to judge Mr. Trump’s posts.

“We’ve been pretty clear on our policy that we think that it wouldn’t be right for us to do fact checks for politicians,” Mr. Zuckerberg said. “I think in general, private companies probably shouldn’t be — or especially these platform companies — shouldn’t be in the position of doing that.”

Zuckerberg, testifying before Congress back in October, said otherwise when answering a question from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:

“If anyone, including a politician, is saying things that can cause, that is calling for violence or could risk imminent physical harm — or voter or census suppression, when we roll out the census suppression policy — we will take that content down.”

When it was in the abstract, he said Facebook would do the right thing. When the rubber hit the road and Trump started posting voter suppression propaganda (re: mail-in balloting) and a clear incitement to violence, Facebook got in line behind Trump.

Even if you think Zuckerberg’s doing the right thing by not touching Trump’s posts — which I see the argument for — you’re admitting that he lied while answering Ocasio-Cortez’s question.

Friday, 29 May 2020