Zuckerberg doubles down against criticism of Facebook's election impact


More people get their news on Facebook than ever beforebut Mark Zuckerberg is still convinced fake news on Facebook was not that big a deal during the presidential election.

Writing on Facebook Saturday, the CEO again responded to critics who have lambasted the social network for not doing more to combat the spread of misinformation. Instead, he wrote it was "extremely unlikely hoaxes changed the outcome of this election in one direction or the other."
"We don't want any hoaxes on Facebook. Our goal is to show people the content they will find most meaningful," Zuckerberg wrote in the post.
The CEO did acknowledge the company can do more to combat made-up news stories, but suggested that type of content was negligible. 
"Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99% of what people see is authentic."
"Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99% of what people see is authentic. Only a very small amount is fake news and hoaxes. The hoaxes that do exist are not limited to one partisan view, or even to politics," he added.
"Overall, this makes it extremely unlikely hoaxes changed the outcome of this election in one direction or the other."
Right now, the network relies primarily on its users to self-police content, including fake news stories. But Facebook's critics argue these tools don't go far enough in reducing the spread of false information.
Zuckerberg noted that discerning the "truth" is a more challenging problem than it may seem to those outside the company. 
Identifying the "truth" is complicated. While some hoaxes can be completely debunked, a greater amount of content, including from mainstream sources, often gets the basic idea right but some details wrong or omitted. An even greater volume of stories express an opinion that many will disagree with and flag as incorrect even when factual. I am confident we can find ways for our community to tell us what content is most meaningful, but I believe we must be extremely cautious about becoming arbiters of truth ourselves.
Zuckerberg's comments, his most extensive public remarks on Facebook's role in the election yet, come as he and other executives at the social network are under fire for not doing more to combat the spread of invented news and conspiracy theories.
On Thursday, Zuckerberg said the idea that fake news influenced the election was "a pretty crazy idea." 
His arguments will likely ring hollow to many critics who have hoped Zuckerberg would take a stronger stance on the issue, which has reportedly been controversial internally at the company. 
Some Facebook employees have questioned whether the network should have done more to stop fake news and racists memes from spreading, The New York Times reported Saturday
Though Zuckerberg seems unlikely to change his opinion — tone deaf though it may seem to critics — he confirmed a previous statement from the company that News Feed changes to address the issue are in the works.

"We hope to have more to share soon, although this work often takes longer than we'd like in order to confirm changes we make won't introduce unintended side effects or bias into the system," he added.
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