Facebook takes on Twitter for ‘fact checking’ president Trump’s tweets
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has weighed into the row between President Trump and Twitter, saying that his company had a different approach and that private companies such as social media sites should not be the “arbiter of truth”.
“I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online,” he said.
“Private companies probably shouldn’t be – especially these platform companies – in the position of doing that.”
Mr Trump threatened to “close down” social media sites in response, claiming they are biased against him and other conservative voices.
Twitter added fact-checking labels to two tweets from the US president which made unsubstantiated claims about “fraudulent” postal voting in the United States during the week.
Mr Dorsey stood by his company’s decision, saying the site would continue to flag misinformation and also defended his staff after some were targeted by supporters of Mr Trump in the wake of Twitter’s fact-checking.
“Fact check: there is someone ultimately accountable for our actions as a company, and that’s me. Please leave our employees out of this. We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. And we will admit to and own any mistakes we make,” he said.
“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.”
Mr Dorsey also explained that the fact-check flag had been added to Mr Trump’s tweets because they “may mislead people into thinking they don’t need to register to get a ballot (only registered voters receive ballots).”
The US president has since renewed his criticism of social media and the wider tech industry, claiming in a further tweet that such companies were trying to “censor” him.
“Big Tech is doing everything in their very considerable power to CENSOR in advance of the 2020 Election. If that happens, we no longer have our freedom. I will never let it happen! They tried hard in 2016, and lost. Now they are going absolutely CRAZY. Stay Tuned!!!,” he said.