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Facebook's Zuckerberg says private companies shouldn't be 'arbiters of truth' after Trump clashes with Twitter

'I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn't be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online'

Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Facebook

President Donald Trump clashed with Twitter over social media bias this week after the platform fact-checked his tweets. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has weighed in on the discussion by saying private companies shouldn't serve as an "arbiter of truth."

Zuckerberg questioned the decision by Twitter's CEO Jack Dorsey to fact-check the President of the United States.

"We have a different policy I think than Twitter on this," Zuckerberg said during an appearance on Fox News' "The Daily Briefing." "I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn't be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online. I think in general private companies probably shouldn't be — especially these platform companies — shouldn't be in the position of doing that."

This echoes a sentiment by Facebook's Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg. "I don't think we have to be the publisher and we definitely don't want to be the arbiter of the truth," Sandberg said in a 2017 CNBC interview. "We don't think that's appropriate for us. We think everyone needs to do their part. Newsrooms have to do their part, media companies, classrooms and technology companies."

On Wednesday, Dorsey said that his company fact-checking accounts on their social media platform does not make Twitter an "arbiter of truth."

Fact check: there is someone ultimately accountable for our actions as a company, and that's me. Please leave our employees out of this. We'll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. And we will admit to and own any mistakes we make. This does not make us an "arbiter of truth." Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves. More transparency from us is critical so folks can clearly see the why behind our actions.

On Tuesday, President Trump said that Twitter is "now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election."

On Wednesday, President Trump said social media companies need to "clean up" their act now.

"Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices," Trump continued. "We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016. We can't let a more sophisticated version of that."

"Twitter has now shown that everything we have been saying about them (and their other compatriots) is correct," Trump tweeted. "Big action to follow!"

"Big Tech is doing everything in their very considerable power to CENSOR in advance of the 2020 Election," Trump wrote. "If that happens, we no longer have our freedom. I will never let it happen! They tried hard in 2016, and lost."

"So ridiculous to see Twitter trying to make the case that Mail-In Ballots are not subject to FRAUD. How stupid, there are examples, & cases, all over the place," Trump tweeted on Thursday. "Our election process will become badly tainted & a laughingstock all over the World. Tell that to your hater @yoyoel."

President Trump is referencing Yoel Roth in the tweet, who is Twitter's "head of site integrity." There have been unearthed tweets from Roth that show he despised Donald Trump as a presidential candidate, and he was heavily in favor of Hillary Clinton.

President Trump is set to sign an executive order aimed at combating any bias from social media companies. Trump hinted that the executive order could arrive on Thursday, after he tweeted, "This will be a Big Day for Social Media and FAIRNESS!"

One last thing…
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