Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook disrupted “more than 50 different campaigns from different nation-states trying to interfere in elections” in 2019.
Zuckberg made the claim during an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt.
It comes as Facebook prepares to unveil a new suite of measures around “election integrity,” including labeling links from state-controlled media outlets.
It’s unlikely that western media companies that are funded by the government, like Canada’s CBC and Britain’s BBC, will fall into this category. Both outlets come under regular criticism for their leftward tilt, despite being funded by taxpayers across the political spectrum, but Zuckerberg says that only outlets that operate as “an organ of the government” will be labeled.
“I think it’s really important that people can see for themselves when media is actually operating as an organ of the government and is being editorially controlled there,” said the Facebook CEO.
In the interview, Zuckerberg also reiterated his opposition to censoring politicians (although at least two politicians, the UK’s Tommy Robinson and Republican congressional candidate Laura Loomer, are still banned on the platform).
“Do you think you’re giving a green light to politicians, to lie, lie, lie?” asked NBC’s Holt, echoing criticisms made by Democrats, who want Facebook to censor or at least fact-check ads from the Trump campaign.
Zuckerberg countered that it was the role of journalists and citizens to hold politicians to account, not private companies.
“No, look” said Zuckerberg. “I believe for people to be able to hear and say what politicians are saying. I think that when they do that, that speech will be heavily scrutinized by other journalists, by other people.”
“I get that a lot of people are angry at us [but] part of growing up for me has just been realizing that it is more important to be understood than it is to be liked, and I believe it very strongly,” the Facebook CEO said later in the interview.
“People can make up their own minds about me and the work that we’re doing, but this is who I am.”
The full interview with Zuckerberg will air on NBC nightly news at 6:30 p.m.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.