Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg strongly defended the social networking site against criticism that circulation of fake news on the website had aided Donald Trump to win the US presidential election. Facebook should not be held responsible for swaying the results in Trump's favour, Zuckerberg stressed.
"The idea that fake news on Facebook influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea," he said. "If you believe that then I don't think you have internalized the message Trump supporters are trying to send in this election."
Zuckerberg's critics, however, would perceive his defence of his social media website as falling short, as many Americans and people worldwide use Facebook as their primary source of news. The site was criticised earlier for manually creating news trends, and later fired the editorial team that was accused of creating trends in favour of liberals.
After laying off the team, Facebook used algorithms for finding trending stories. But the algorithm also missed out on what was fake and what was real, and only showcased the popular topic. The responsibility to vet out fake news circulating on the website fell with the users.
Currently, Facebook shows content that the user will be find of interest in their News Feed. However, the problem with the model is that it reinforces the user's point of view without showing differing opinions.
"My goal, and what I care about, is giving people the power to share so we can make the world more open and connected. That requires building a good version of News Feed," said Zuckerberg. "We still have work to do on that. We're going to keep improving it. On the community guidelines, I think as norms change and people want to see more news, I think we'll have to continue to evolve the guidelines to reflect the value that the community holds."
Zuckerberg also said that his aim to improve global healthcare and connectivity doesn't need the cooperation of the government.