Founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg has been at the center of some notable controversies recently. As the infamous Facebook data scandal still ensues, according to Engadget, Facebook now has a new controversy that’s even more troubling than those eerie post-data collecting investigations commercials (you know what we’re talking about: the strangely ominous music that’s supposed to make us feel sympathetic for an inanimate social media platform — it’s weird).
Zuckerberg explained why his platform won’t ban anti-Holocaust hoaxes. TBH, you probably aren’t prepared for this (which should be the brand of 2018 and beyond).
On Wednesday, Recode Decode interviewed Zuckerberg about the misinformation and conspiracy theory apocalypse that’s been allegedly plaguing the social media platform since, well, before the Farmville shenanigans started infesting the virtual environment. During the initial interview, Zuckerberg noted that Facebook doesn’t aim to prevent fake news, it’s just working to prevent the spread of misinformation. After Zuckerberg talked about why it’s taken the company so long to combat harmful, and sometimes derogatory, misinformation, Zuckerberg apparently expanded on why the organization doesn’t ban Holocaust deniers. (Despite it, being, ya’ know, harmful falsehoods.)
“I just think, as abhorrent as some of those examples are, I think the reality is also that I get things wrong when I speak publicly. I’m sure you do. I’m sure a lot of leaders and public figures we respect do too, and I just don’t think that it is the right thing to say, ‘We’re going to take someone off the platform if they get things wrong, even multiple times’,” Zuckerberg continues.
holy shit mark zuckerberg defends holocaust deniers bc they are not intentionally misleading people...? pic.twitter.com/kfQpp0m3Sa
— cale g weissman (@caleweissman) July 18, 2018
Naturally, it can be a bit confusing as to why Facebook won’t ban accounts that vehemently deny the Holocaust (especially since survivors of the Holocaust and their family members are most likely to be harmed by their discourse). However, Zuckerberg made some clarifications about is obviously troubling remarks during his first Recode Decode interview, in a new interview with Recode. (Because nobody was really having his explanation, tbh.)
“Our goal with fake news is not to prevent anyone from saying something untrue — but to stop fake news and misinformation spreading across our services. If something is spreading and is rated false by fact checkers, it would lose the vast majority of its distribution in News Feed,” Zuckerberg said during his amended interview.
According to Huffington Post, Zuckerberg’s initial interview and revised statements imply that Facebook plans to remove falsehoods that promote or could lead to violence or harm. Still, it’s unclear why Facebook allegedly still allows notorious conspiracy-mongering sites, like InfoWars, to use the platform—especially when InfoWars has questioned the validity of the Sandy Hook shooting in the past (and caused emotional harm in the process).