In an interview with Fox News anchor Dana Perino, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg rebuked Twitter for its decision to tag two of President Donald Trump’s tweets about mail-in voting with fact-check links, saying that private companies “shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth.”
“Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online,” Zuckerberg said.
Though Facebook takes down ads that discourage people from voting, a Facebook spokesperson said Trump’s tweets, which were also posted as Facebook statuses, did not violate its rules, which “focus on misrepresentations that would interfere with the vote.”
Zuckerberg also said that any attempt by Trump or the federal government to censor social media companies isn’t “the right reflex.”
The full interview will air on Thursday.
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes.
“I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online,” he said. “Private companies probably shouldn’t be, especially these platform companies, shouldn’t be in the position of doing that.”
Trump threatened to regulate social media companies on Wednesday after Twitter TWTR labeled two of his tweets about mail-in voting with a “fact check,” which said the president falsely claimed mail-in ballots would lead to a rigged election and widespread fraud, citing the Washington Post and CNN. Republicans have long claimed that Facebook, based in the liberal stronghold of Silicon Valley, is biased against conservatives, and Twitter’s fact check only intensified that criticism, with Trump tweeting that Twitter was “interfering” in the 2020 election and stifling free speech. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said he is drafting a bill to walk back Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a vital legal shield that prevents tech platforms from being liable for what users post.
Since the 2016 election, Zuckerberg has repeatedly said that private tech companies shouldn’t decide what’s true or false. Facebook’s stance on Trump’s tweets echoes its policies surrounding political ads, which came under fire earlier this year because Facebook allows politicians to lie in them without being fact checked. Twitter, for its part, split from Facebook and banned political advertising altogether.