Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly sat down with Al Sharpton for a meeting at the CEO’s home this week.
Reuters reports that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sat down with Al Sharpton for a “no-holds-barred-meeting” at the CEO’s home recently, with the main focus of the conversation revolving around Facebook’s decision not to fact-check ads from politicians.
Sharpton stated that the meeting lasted nearly two hours at Zuckerberg’s house in Palo Alto, which included multiple other civil rights activists and Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg. Sharpton told Reuters in an interview: “We told him that we feel that the exemption for politicians could be used to suppress voting, give wrong messaging and could suppress census taking.”
Sharpton, who reached out to Zuckerberg to request the meeting, stated: “He listened. He made no firm commitments of change but he seemed open.” Zuckerberg defended his company’s decision not to censor content from politicians before Congress recently. But Sharpton argued that a wide range of content from politicians could indirectly cause voter suppression.
Facebook said in a statement that it was grateful that the civil rights leaders and activists took the time to attend the meeting with Zuckerberg and Sandberg. The firm stated: “They discussed a range of important issues and we look forward to continuing these conversations.”
Zuckerberg has repeatedly defended the company’s decision not to censor politicians’ content, stating that the firm did not want to stifle political speech. Zuckerberg also estimated that ads from politicians will account for less than 0.5 percent of Facebook’s revenue next year.
Sharpton told Reuters that he would next request a meeting with Google about its stance on political advertising. He also expressed his interest in meeting with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.