Mark Zuckerberg says breaking up Facebook after the election meddling controversy would pave the way for Chinese tech companies to fill the void – and ‘they do NOT share the same values we do’
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has hit back at the idea Facebook has become too big and should be broken up into smaller companies.
The social media tycoon told Recode calls to shrink the company to allow competitors an easier playing field would result in a Chinese corporation filling the void – who might not share Facebook’s ‘American values’.
Zuckerberg, who has recently faced congressional hearings on the data practices of Facebook – particularly the data breaches by Cambridge Analytica – and the lack of any complete competitor.
Mark Zuckerberg says if Facebook is broken up by restrictions placed on it by the US Government, a Chinese company will come to ‘fill the void’ and will likely be less willing to work with Congress
He told congress in April Facebook had ‘a lot’ of competitors, who overlap with their service in ‘different ways’.
The 34-year-old spent two days testifying about his company and answering questions – something he suggested an overseas company the size of Facebook would be less inclined to do.
‘I think you can bet that, if the government here is worried about… whether it’s election interference or terrorism… I don’t think Chinese companies are going to want to cooperate as much and aid the national interest there,’ he said.
Zuckerberg also spoke out against the US constraining its own companies, noting it would only give way to overseas – specifically Chinese – competitors.
‘If we adopt a stance which is that, we’re going to, as a country, decide to clip the wings of these [American] companies and make it so it’s harder for them to operate in different places or they have to be smaller, then there are plenty of other companies out there willing and able to take the place of the work that we’re doing,’ he said.
‘And they do not share the values that we have.’
He called out Chinese companies specifically, noting ‘they do not share the values that we have’. Zuckerberg spent two days in April testifying to Congress about Facebook’s response to hacking and election meddling in 2016
Zuckerberg admitted he, as the creator of Facebook, was to blame for data being stolen and allegedly used to hijack the 2016 Presidential Election.
In his defense, he claimed he had been alerting the FBI to attacks on RNC and DNC members, and other accounts since 2015, but admitted Facebook was ‘too slow’ to respond to accounts spreading disinformation.
In the near-90-minute podcast, Zuckerberg also said he did not see it as his job to remove posts that are inaccurate, explaining he believed users should be able to share unintentionally misleading information.
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Zuckerberg used, unprompted, the example of Holocaust deniers, to explain why he had not tackled the issue of fake news.
While he said as a Jewish man he found the posts to be personally very hurtful and offensive, and did not personally agree with the authors, he wanted users to be able to make mistakes.
‘I find [the denial] deeply offensive. But 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. I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong,’ he said.
‘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.’
The social media tycoon, 34, also said he did not feel it was right to delete posts that had misinformation in them – such as those posted by Holocaust deniers. ‘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. I don’t think they’re intentionally getting it wrong,’ he said
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