Zuck doesn’t think fake news is a problem. Obama does.
Mark Zuckerberg may not think fake news is a problem on Facebook. President Barack Obama disagrees.
Obama, speaking Thursday alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel during his last international trip as president, called out the spread of inaccurate information, specifically on Facebook and TV, as a threat to free speech and democratic principles.
“In an age where there’s so much active misinformation —- and it’s packaged very well and it looks the same when you see it on a Facebook page or you turn on your television … if everything seems to be the same and no distinctions are made, then we won’t know what to protect,” Obama said. “We won’t know what to fight for.”
Obama didn’t mention Facebook by coincidence. The social network is currently under fire for its role in disseminating fake news to users in the weeks and months leading up last Tuesday’s presidential election, particularly stories in support of Republican candidate Donald Trump.
Facebook CEO Zuckerberg has defended his company, saying fake news accounts for a very small percentage of overall posts on the social network, and the idea that it influenced the election is “crazy.”
A lot of people — including some of his own employees — disagree. Now you can add Obama to that list, too.
You can watch the president’s full speech below. The Facebook comment comes right around the 48-minute mark.