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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted today that he was wrong to dismiss the idea that so-called “fake news” on Facebook influenced the election back in November — he had initially called the notion “crazy.”
“Calling that crazy was dismissive and I regret it,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post today. “This is too important an issue to be dismissive.”
Zuckerberg, who rarely refers to the President Donald Trump by name, posted in response to a tweet Trump sent early Wednesday that called Facebook “anti-Trump.”
Trump didn’t specify what prompted his claim against Facebook, though the social network is currently embroiled in an investigation about Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election. Facebook, which admitted that it sold ads to Russian propagandists, was formally invited today to testify in front of Congress in early November.
“Trump says Facebook is against him,” Zuckerberg wrote. “Liberals say we helped Trump. Both sides are upset about ideas and content they don’t like. That’s what running a platform for all ideas looks like.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 27, 2017
Zuckerberg’s response to Trump focused on what he deems to be Facebook’s positive influence on public discourse, specifically last year’s election. He wrote about “giving people a voice,” and added that, “We ran ‘get out the vote’ efforts that helped as many as 2 million people register to vote.”
It’s been a tough stretch for Facebook since the election. The company has admitted that users gamed its News Feed algorithm to try and spread misinformation during the election, and also that Facebook sold more than $100,000 worth of ads to Russian-controlled accounts.