Mark Zuckerberg on Why Facebook Won’t Remove ‘Fake News’ and 3 Other Takeaways From His Recent Interview

Mark Zuckerberg on Why Facebook Won’t Remove ‘Fake News’ and 3 Other Takeaways From His Recent Interview

The full transcript is available here, but we pulled out some of the key takeaways -- including the company’s plans for regulating “fake news,” its new AI tools for monitoring content, Zuckerberg’s own mentor and what he sees as the new frontier for technology. Facebook will not remove “fake news” -- it will simply reduce that content’s distribution. “In this case, we feel like our responsibility is to prevent hoaxes from going viral and being widely distributed,” he said. When it comes to false news, Zuckerberg’s approach is to make sure that the top items going viral or being distributed by Facebook on a large scale aren’t hoaxes or blatant misinformation. If users flag content as a potential hoax, it’s sent to a team of fact-checkers, and if they say it’s provably false, Facebook will reduce that content’s distribution and move it down in News Feed. The company will prioritize monitoring fake accounts, advertisements and Facebook Live broadcasts. Facebook’s content review team now numbers 20,000 people, he said, and the company is pouring resources into artificial intelligence (AI) tools that identify and remove fake accounts, as well as tools that flag and remove terrorist content. “Growing up, I admired how Microsoft was mission-focused,” he said. … It was like an Apollo-like goal to me.” Zuckerberg says he admires Gates’s “second act” with charitable giving, saying he hopes to follow in the philanthropist’s footsteps by making it a priority right now. “I always tell people that you should only hire people to be on your team if you would work for them,” he said.

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Mark Zuckerberg on Why Facebook Won't Remove 'Fake News' and 3 Other Takeaways From His Recent Interview

“We’re not kids in a dorm room anymore, right?”

That’s what Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Kara Swisher, co-founder of Recode, in a recent podcast interview. The full transcript is available here, but we pulled out some of the key takeaways — including the company’s plans for regulating “fake news,” its new AI tools for monitoring content, Zuckerberg’s own mentor and what he sees as the new frontier for technology.

1. Facebook will not remove “fake news” — it will simply reduce that content’s distribution.

Zuckerberg said he grapples with the balance between giving people a voice and keeping the community safe. “In this case, we feel like our responsibility is to prevent hoaxes from going viral and being widely distributed,” he said.

When it comes to false news, Zuckerberg’s approach is to make sure that the top items going viral or being distributed by Facebook on a large scale aren’t hoaxes or blatant misinformation. If users flag content as a potential hoax, it’s sent to a team of fact-checkers, and if they say it’s provably false, Facebook will reduce that content’s distribution and move it down in News Feed.

But the company won’t remove content from the platform — even if it’s provably false — unless it attacks individuals or will likely result in physical harm. “I’m Jewish, and there’s a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened,” Zuckerberg said. “I find that deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong. I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong.” Moving forward, organizations posting provably false content on their own pages will only be…

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