Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg opened up in an all-encompassing interview, raising concerns over his social media platform destroying society as we know it.
During an interview with Axios, which was published on Wednesday, Zuckerberg was asked whether Facebook is expediting social destruction. “I have a little more confidence in a democracy than that. And I hope my confidence isn’t misplaced,” he replied.
The chief executive of Facebook went on to suggest it is just wrong to tout Facebook as a right-wing echo chamber, despite conservative content floating around the site’s list of most popular content. Zuckerberg said that despite noteworthy engagement with partisan content, it does not represent the majority of what people see on the platform.
“It’s true that partisan content often has kind of a higher percentage of people… engaging with it, commenting on it, liking it,” he told the outlet. He said it is important to differentiate that from, what people see and read and learn about on the platform.
Zuckerberg denied speculations suggesting that Facebook’s algorithm is trying to find things that are going to enrage people one way or the other. “That’s not actually how our systems work,” he explained.
Referencing the criticism Facebook receives for allowing hateful content on its platform, Zuckerberg said it was usually difficult to know where to draw the line. “If you look in the country right now… a lot of people… are very exercised and I think, frankly, for a lot of good reasons. And we have real issues,” he explained.
“I think sometimes there is a fine line between an important level of high energy around an important issue and something that can kind of tilt over into causing harm.”
Although Facebook gets rid of content that it labels as misinformation about COVID-19, Zuckerberg said he was more hesitant about content criticizing vaccines from the “anti-vaxxer” movement.
“If someone is pointing out a case where a vaccine caused harm or that they’re worried about it — you know, that’s a difficult thing to say from my perspective that you shouldn’t be allowed to express at all,” he said.