Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave a speech yesterday in which he reiterated his company’s mission to fight fake news in all its forms, unless it is published by the people who run every country in the world.
Zuckerberg spoke at Georgetown University and insisted that politicians should be not be required to tell the truth – he went on to explain that it was important that the only people who are allowed to get away with lying online are our elected representatives or those who want to be our elected representatives.
He told those gathered, “I’m not saying that Facebook has no place in deciding what is, and is not, the objective truth – because we obviously do, and we’re happy to fact check everything you post to our platform.
“What I’m saying is that we won’t be applying those vast fact-checking resources to anything uttered by politicians on Facebook – less so if they’ve paid to promote these untruths using adverts.
“Now, people will no doubt say that this means we are ‘cosying up’ to the establishment so they look kindly on us in the inevitable legal battles our dominant market position will surely bring – but to them, I say no, this is about free speech.
“Not your free speech, obviously, we’re perfectly comfortable closing that down when it’s inconvenient – I mean the free speech of the people we have deemed worthy of having it.”
Facebook users have reacted angrily at the news that political fake news is welcomed on the platform, though some appear less keen on politicians always telling the truth.
Facebook product Simon Williams told us, “Frankly, if politicians were forced to tell the truth we’d never vote for any of them.”