Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta, has admitted that his platforms’ so-called “fact-checkers” have censored information that was actually true.
During an interview on the “Lex Fridman Podcast,” Zuckerberg acknowledged that the censorship efforts have led to a loss of trust.
Zuckerberg disclosed that Facebook and Instagram had censored skeptics of the Covid pandemic without substantial evidence to prove the claims false.
However, subsequent developments have shown that much of the so-called “misinformation” was either true or subject to debate.
Zuckerberg acknowledged the challenges of identifying misinformation on social media and conceded that the corporate media and Big Tech were mistaken in censoring skeptical viewpoints.
Mark Zuckerberg says it was challenging to censor COVID misinformation because the scientific establishment was frequently wrong, which ultimately undermined public trust:
"Just take some of the stuff around COVID earlier in the pandemic where there were real health… pic.twitter.com/y0ZaX4kmCE
— KanekoaTheGreat (@KanekoaTheGreat) June 9, 2023
“So misinformation, I think, has been a really tricky one because there are things that are obviously false, right, or they may be factual but may not be harmful,” said Zuckerberg.
“So are you gonna censor someone for just being wrong?
“If there’s no kind of harm implication of what they’re doing?
“There’s a bunch of real issues and challenges there.”
“Just take some of the stuff around COVID earlier in the pandemic where there were real health implications, but there hadn’t been time to fully vet a bunch of the scientific assumptions,” he continued.
“Unfortunately, I think a lot of the kind of establishment on that kind of waffled on a bunch of facts and asked for a bunch of things to be censored that, in retrospect, ended up being more debatable or true,” he added.
“And that stuff is really tough, right?”
“It really undermines trust,” Zuckerberg said.
Facebook’s fact-checkers have faced accusations of suppressing legitimate information that contradicts the preferred narrative of certain political groups, often overriding scientific experts and renowned authorities to stifle dissenting opinions.
There has been additional criticism, such as the censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story just before the 2020 presidential election.
During an interview with Joe Rogan in August, Zuckerberg mentioned that Facebook restricted the reach of the Hunter Biden laptop story under pressure from the FBI.
The bureau had alerted them to the potential release of Russian disinformation aimed at harming Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.
Zuckerberg stated that, considering the FBI’s reputation as a legitimate and professional law enforcement institution, they took the warning seriously and acted in accordance with the FBI’s guidelines on Russian disinformation.
He did not recall whether the FBI explicitly identified the Hunter Biden laptop story as disinformation at that time.
Whether it was the bogus overstatements of mask efficacy for stopping the spread of the virus, the false claims that getting vaccinated will stop transmission and protect one’s family and community, or the gross exaggerations of the effectiveness of lockdowns, social media platforms like Meta engaged in a deceptive propaganda campaign that has wrought immense damage to the fabric of American society.
It is refreshing to see a Big Tech CEO admit to propagating the Big Lies. But the damage is already done.