Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg defended Holocaust deniers in a recent interview with Recode, suggesting that their posts are not removed from the social network because it is unclear if they were written maliciously or in ignorance.
When addressing the issue of “fake news” and the spread of information, Zuckerberg said content that is “going to result in real harm, real physical harm” shouldn’t be on the platform.
To elaborate, he brought up people who deny that the Holocaust happened. While he said that, as a Jew, he finds that “deeply offensive,” he doesn’t think it is a cause for removal.
“At the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong,” he said. “I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong.”
He continued: “It’s hard to impugn intent and to understand the intent. I just think, as abhorrent as some of those examples are, I think the reality is also that I get things wrong when I speak publicly. I’m sure you do. I’m sure a lot of leaders and public figures we respect do too, and I just don’t think that it is the right thing to say, ‘We’re going to take someone off the platform if they get things wrong, even multiple times.’”
Zuckerberg said that if there is no plan to attack someone, the content can be left on the page, as it is simply something that people may disagree with or find offensive. Thought Facebook won’t remove it, it also won’t make it widely distributed in News Feeds, he explained; rather, it’ll be pushed down its algorithm.