Zuckerberg distances Facebook from Twitter in Trump fight

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg distanced his company from Twitter and its fight with U.S. President Donald Trump, as the White House readied an executive order about social media companies.

FILE PHOTO: Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, U.S., October 23, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott

Trump, who accuses social media firms of bias against conservatives, without evidence, stepped up his attacks on Twitter after the company put a fact-checking label on two of his tweets about mail-in ballots on Tuesday for the first time.

“We have a different policy I think than Twitter on this,” Zuckerberg told Fox News, Trump’s preferred broadcaster, in previews of an interview due to air on Thursday.

“I don’t think that Facebook or internet platforms, in general, should be arbiters of truth. I think that’s kind of a dangerous line to get down to, in terms of deciding what is true and what isn’t,” he told CNBC on Thursday.

Facebook exempts posts and ads from politicians from its fact-checking program and has declined to limit political ad targeting like some other platforms. It has been criticized heavily by Democrats over its approach.

A draft of the order Trump is expected to sign on Thursday suggests the president will call for a review of a law that protects internet companies, including Facebook and Alphabet’s Google, from liability for content on their platforms.

Facebook and Twitter declined to comment on the draft order. A Facebook spokeswoman said the Fox and CNBC interviews had been scheduled the prior week.

Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey tweeted on Wednesday that Twitter would “continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally” but said “this does not make us an ‘arbiter of truth.’”

Dorsey said Trump’s tweets may have misled people into thinking they did not need to register to receive a ballot.

Facebook also bars content that misrepresents methods for voting or voter registration, and its policy calls for removal of such content “regardless of who it’s coming from.”

A company spokesman said Facebook’s policies “focus on misrepresentations that would interfere with the vote,” without elaborating.

Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford and Katie Paul; Editing by Dan Grebler

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *