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Mark Zuckerberg Answers to Facebook's Moderation of Controversial Content

Aug 30, 2022

Mark Zuckerberg Answers to Facebook's Moderation of Controversial Content

jurogan's experience when we remove something we're not supposed to say that's how i mean that's the worst i mean it's like discerning how to say like these christian

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pages i don't know how they found out that 19 out of 20 were fake , but if someone just says I'm bob smith and they post as bob smith and they have a picture and but really what they're doing is trying to talk about joe biden and getting people to vote republican in midterms like how what how do you know if someone is real or not that's the big argument with elon and twitter because elon asked twitter what percentage of his website is full of bots and they say five percent and he says no i believe you i think it's higher and let's find out how you came to this conclusion. were applied to is, but how is it discerned?
mark zuckerberg answers to facebook s moderation of controversial content
Yeah, I mean I think estimating overall prevalence is one thing, but I think the question of do you know looking at a page and is this page authentic, I think there are a lot of signals around that. what we try to do is for large pages we try to make sure we know who is the admin of that page not necessarily if you should be able to run an anonymous page you don't necessarily need to know yourself and say who is running it but we want to make sure that we have an identity for that person on file so that we know, at least behind the scenes, that that person is real, um for certain political things, I think having an idea of ​​what country they're from, I mean some of that what you can do just by looking at where your server traffic is coming from like the ip address it's coming from romania or you know it's or um because if it's like an ad on another country's election then you know I probably want to make sure that that ad is, um, you know, especially in countries that have laws that are like they come from someone who's a valid citizen or like at least in that place, so there's a lot of I think that i don't know what theme in my worldview around these things when it comes to some of the things that we talked about before it's like i don't think these things are black and white or that you're ever going to have an ai perfect system um I think it's all tradeoffs to the end and it's and and you could build a system and be overly aggressive and capture a higher percentage of bad guys but also accidentally take out a few number of good ones or could be a little more forgiving and to say ok no the cost of removing any number of goodies is too high so we're going to put up with you knowing a bit more like more baddies in the system these are values ​​questions around what do you value more and and and those are those are super complicated questions and part of what I've struggled with this is that I didn't go into this to basically judge the things that I went into this to design technology that helps people connect properly it's like and how Want I mean, you could probably tell when we spent the first hour talking about the metaverse and the future of basically building this whole technology roadmap to basically giving people this realistic sense of presence. which is like arbitrating what's right and what's not, obviously I have to be involved in that because this is on some level, you know I run the company and um and I can't just abdicate that, but I also don't think that's a government thing you want all the decision making to fall to one individual so I think one of the things you know our country and our government does well is the separation of powers so you know one of the things I dealt with What I think is that we created this oversight board, it's an independent board where we basically appoint people whose kind of primary value is free speech, but they also balance that with things like when there's going to be real harm to others in terms of security or privacy or other human rights issues and basically that board people in our community can appeal cases when they think we were wrong and that the board can actually make the decision binding union, not us, so in a way I think that's a more legitimate form of governance than just having an internal team that makes these decisions or maybe some of them are up to me, even though I don't spend a lot of my time to this on a day-to-day basis, but I think generally it's good to have some kind of separation of powers where you're designing governance so that you have different stakeholders and different people who can make these decisions and it's not just like a private The company that's making decisions even about what happens on our platform, how do you handle things when it's big news that's

controversial

, like there's a lot of attention on Twitter during the election because of the Hunter Biden laptop story? year yeah yeah so you guys censored that too so we went a different path than Twitter um I mean basically the background here is the FBI I think it basically came to us some people on our team it was like hey just so you know how you should be on high alert we thought there was a lot of russian propaganda going on in the 2016 election we got an advisory that basically there is about to be some kind of um uh dump which is similar to that so just stay alert so our protocol is different than twitter what twitter did is they said you can't share this at all um we didn't do that what we do is we have um if something is reported to us as potentially um major misinformation misinformation also we thi The third party fact check program because we don't want to decide what is true and false and I think it was five or seven days when it was basically being determined Finding out if it was false, the distribution on

Facebook

was reduced. but people were still allowed to share it, so you could still share it, you could still consume it, so when I say distribution has gone down, it was shared, how does that work?
mark zuckerberg answers to facebook s moderation of controversial content
Basically, the ranking from a news source was a little bit lower, so fewer people saw it than it otherwise would have been, so definitely by what percentage, I don't know offhand, but it's significant, but I mean, but basically, a lot of people can still share it. We get a lot of complaints that that was the case, um, obviously, this is a hyperpolitical issue, so depending on which side of the political spectrum, you think we didn't censor it enough or we censor it too much, but correct, but we weren't that blacks and whites on that like twitter we just thought look if the FBI which I still see as a legitimate institution in this country is very professional law enforcement they come to us and say we need to be on our guard about something , so I want to take seriously, did they specifically say that you have to be on your guard about that story?
mark zuckerberg answers to facebook s moderation of controversial content
No, I don't remember if it was that specifically, but it basically fit the pattern when something like that turns out to be real. Is there any regret for not having done it? it was evenly distributed and to speed up the distribution of that story, what do you mean evenly distributed? I mean uniformly in that it's not suppressed it's not yeah yeah yeah I mean it sucks yeah yeah I mean because I mean it turned out after the fact I mean the actually the directors investigated it nobody he was able to tell it was fake so he basically had this period where he was getting less distribution um so yeah I mean but I think I think it probably sucks although I think in the same way you probably have to going through a criminal trial but being proven innocent in the end sucks like it still sucks to have to go through a criminal trial but in the end you're free I don't know if the answer would have been to do nothing or not have any process.
mark zuckerberg answers to facebook s moderation of controversial content
I think the process was quite reasonable. much more reasonable than the twitter stance and probably also the case for the correct quarterback or at least the monday morning quarterback i should say because at the time you had reason to believe based on the fbi telling you that It wasn't real and there was going to be some propaganda, so what do you do, yeah? And then if you let it out and what happens if it changes the elections, it turns out that it's a real problem and I imagine those kinds of decisions are the most difficult, the decisions about what is allowed and what is not allowed, yes, I mean, what would you do in that situation? which is one of the oldest newspapers in the country, so I would say, uh, I'd like to talk to someone, uh, from the New York Post and say how did you get this data, like where do you get the information from. how do you know if this is correct or not and then you have to make a decision because they may have been fooled its very hard because everyone wants to see it after the fact now that we know the laptop was real and it was a legit story and there is a potential corruption involved with it, which we thought, oh, that shouldn't have been restricted, shouldn't have been banned from sharing on Twitter, right?
mark zuckerberg answers to facebook s moderation of controversial content
I think everyone is on board with that even Twitter is on board with that but the thing is then the I didn't think at first they thought it was fake so what do you like if something comes up and the Republicans hatch some plan to make it It seems like Joe Biden is a terrible person and they just do it so they can do it? win the election, but it's really just propaganda, what are you supposed to do with it? You're not supposed to allow it to spread so if they think that's the case it makes sense to me that they would try to stop it but I just don't think they looked at it enough when the New York Post talks about it you know they are Pretty smart about what they post and what they don't post if they do if they're going through some data from a laptop and I could talk to a person but again this is just a story like an individual store like how many of these all show up every day, especially with regard to polarizing issues like climate change or covid or you know foreign policy or ukraine anytime there's a really

controversial

issue where some people think it's imperative that you take a very specific position and you can't have the another position like that, those moments in social networks worry a lot of people because they don't know why certain things are censored or certain things are promoted yes, I agree rdo and it's like being in your shoes and I was one of the things that I really wanted to talk to you about is this because being in your shoes must be incredibly hard to have no matter what decision you make there will be a lot of people who are upset with you and there might be a right way to handle it but I don't know the right way, well I think the right way is to set principles for governance that try to be balanced and not have too centralized decision making because I think it's hard for people to accept that as a team in the meta or that I personally am making all these decisions and I think people should be skeptical of that.
mark zuckerberg answers to facebook s moderation of controversial content
That's why a lot of the innovation that I've tried to drive in governance has to do with things like establishing this oversight board so that that way you have people who are luminaries around the world speaking but also in the in the usa you know i mean people like michael mcconnell who is he i mean he's a stanford professor it's like he's afraid of what um what republican president appointed him , but I want to say that I think they will consider it for the supreme court at some point. I mean he's a very, um, very prominent and kind of a celebrity free speech advocate and he helped me shape the thing and I think setting up forms of government that are independent of us that basically have the final say on a lot of these decisions and that's a step in the right direction i mean the hunter biden case you talked about before you know i don't want our company to decide what is misinformation and what is not when we work with third parties and basically let for different different organizations to do that, no, I mean, so you have the question of whether or not those organizations are biased and that's a very difficult question, but at least it's not us basically sitting here deciding that we're not the ministry of truth to the world that is deciding whether everything is true or not, so I would say, this is not a solved problem, the controversies are not going to go away, you know, I think it is i Interesting that the us, um, is actually more polarized than most other countries, so I think sitting in the US is easy to extrapolate and say, hey, it probably feels that way around the world and , based on the social science research I've seen, that's not really the case, there are a ton of countries where social media is just as prominent, but the polarization is either flat or slightly down, so there's something different going on in the US but for better or worse I mean it seems like the next few years seem set to be pretty polarized so I tend to agree with you there are going to be a lot of different decisions like this that will come out because of the scale of what we are almost all world eventsdo they have an angle that is like the angle of

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