Mark Zuckerberg: The coronavirus pandemic continues to tighten its grip on people around the world, and social media platforms such as Facebook are playing a vital role in spreading misinformation about the much-awaited vaccine that would enable people to go back to work, and lead normal lives.
Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook will not remove anti-vaccine posts despite COVID-19 concerns. The social media chief hopes his social network does not end up effectively destroying “society as we know it.”
During a recently concluded interview, Facebook’s CEO said it wasn’t right to think that Facebook is driven by conservatives. “I don’t think that the service is a rightwing echo chamber,” he told Axios on HBO.
“Everyone can use their voice and find media they trust that reflects the opinions and life experiences they’re having,” he explained during the interview. He rebuffed the theory suggesting that history will remember Facebook for expediting the destruction of society.
“I have a little more confidence in a democracy than that,” Zuckerberg said. He went on to say that he hopes his confidence isn’t misplaced, adding that what they do, and what the internet does is empower people.
Critics of Zuckerberg argue that Facebook serves as an echo chamber for rightwing opinions. Writer and cultural critic at Media Matters for America Parker Molloy accused the platform of being an echo chamber when it permitted numerous inaccurate ads bankrolled by pro-Trump organizations.
The ability of rightwing content related to the QAnon conspiracy theory, baseless claims about voting, and anti-LGBTQ+ content to spread effortlessly on Facebook despite supposed bans showed that the company was indeed “highly partisan”, Malloy said. Although the tech CEO does not agree with the characterization of Facebook as a rightwing echo chamber, Malloy said that doesn’t make it any less true.
She said Conservatives are thriving on Facebook, and they can do this due to inconsistently applied policy enforcement, general rightwing favoritism, and internal ideological advocacy. Zuckerberg acknowledged that conservative voices and opinions had a higher percentage of people engaging with it, insisting that it is important to differentiate that from what people are seeing and reading and learning about on the platform.