Mark Zuckerberg Touts Facebook ‘Coordination with Governments and Industry’ Ahead of Midterm Elections
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called for greater coordination between his company and governments to combat “election interference,” “division,” and “disinformation,” “misinformation,” and “viral hoaxes” in an essay published Thursday.
“Governments, tech companies, and independent experts … need to do a better job sharing the signals and information they have to prevent abuse,” writes Zuckerberg. “Our goal around misinformation for elections is to make sure that few, if any, of the top links shared on Facebook will be viral hoaxes.”
“Tighter coordination” between Facebook and “law enforcement, asserts Zuckerberg, “would “be very useful” to combat what he says are malevolent foreign influence operations across Facebook and the broader digital world.
Zuckerberg notes, “Our coordination with governments and industry in the US is significantly stronger now than it was in 2016. … In countries like Germany, for example, we shared information directly with the government to improve security during last year’s elections.”
While calling for vigilance against the “threat” of “attempts to manipulate public opinion,” Zuckerberg makes no mention of American news media outlets. Last week, Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg said her company uses “alternative facts” to combat what she claimed was “misinformation” spread across her company’s digital platform.
Facebook has assumed the role of fostering an unqualified unity, suggests Zuckerberg, claiming his company subverted an “inauthentic campaign” on its platform to “sow division” on the issue of immigration.
Reasonable people can differ over the parameters of legitimate free speech and expression, claims Zuckerberg: “When it comes to free expression, thoughtful people come to different conclusions about the right balances.”
Zuckerberg makes no mention of the First Amendment in his essay while claiming, “One of our core principles is to give people a voice.” Facebook uses ambiguous terms such as “hate speech” and “bullying” in setting restrictive parameters around political speech and expression across its digital properties.