Mark Zuckerberg has put up a Facebook post responding to a tweet by US President Donald Trump accusing Facebook of having an anti-Trump agenda. Zuckerberg has clarified that the role that Facebook played in the 2016 US Presidential Election is different from what most people think it is.
According to Zuckerberg, Facebook was a platform to discuss issues not covered by the media, allowed candidates to communicate directly with the voters, allowed effective advertising for election campaigns, and encouraged people to go out and vote.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 27, 2017
..But the people were Pro-Trump! Virtually no President has accomplished what we have accomplished in the first 9 months-and economy roaring — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 27, 2017
After the surprise win of Donald Trump in the US Presidential Election last year, Facebook was accused of helping the widespread distribution of fake news that helped Trump win. At that time, Zuckerberg had dismissed the claims that Facebook content had influenced the election, denied that it had distributed fake news on the platform, and called the whole idea "crazy."
Former President Barack Obama at that time had contacted Zuckerberg and had asked him to take the threat of fake news and political disinformation seriously. Trump at that time had agreed that social media, including Facebook and Twitter, had indeed helped him win. Zuckerberg now says that he regrets dismissing the idea of Facebook influencing the election.
I want to respond to President Trump's tweet this morning claiming Facebook has always been against him.
Every day I...
Zuckerberg noted that while Trump accused Facebook of being anti-Trump, liberals actually accused Facebook of helping Trump win. Trump alleges collusion between Facebook and news sites.
The accusation from Trump comes at a time when Facebook is handing over details of $100,000 of political ads purchased during the 2016 US Presidential election to investigators.
The ads were apparently engineered to be socially and ideologically divisive, and were possibly paid for by troll farms associated with Russia.
Even as the 3,000 ads go under the scanner, Facebook has committed to being more transparent about political advertising.