Mark Zuckerberg Answers to Facebook's Moderation of Controversial Content
the jurogan experience when we dismantle something we shouldn't do i mean that's how i mean that's the worst i mean that's how recognize how how say how these christian
facebook pages i don't know how they found out that 19 out of 20 was fake but if someone just says i'm bob smith and they post as bob smith and they have a photo and they're really trying to talk about joe biden and get people to vote republican the midterms like like what how do you know if someone is real or not so is the big argument with elon and twitter because elon asked twitter what percentage of your website is filled with bots and they say five percent and he says i don't believe you i think , it's higher, and let's find out how you came to that conclusion.
Yeah and you know they said I think they just took a hundred random Twitter pages and looked at the interaction and there's some sort of algorithm they advertised it but how do you recognize yeah, well I think estimating the overall prevalence is one thing, but I think the question of whether you know how to look at a site and whether that site is authentic. I think there are a number of signals around these With big sites we try to make sure we know who the admin of that site is. If you should be able to run an anonymous site, you don't necessarily have to come out yourself and say who you're managing, but we want to make sure we have some sort of identity for that person on file so that we at least behind the scenes knowing that this person is real, um, for certain political things I think a sense of what country they're from, I mean you can do some of that by looking at where their server traffic coming in like ip address coming from romania or you know or um cos if, it's like an ad in choosing another country then you probably know your way around i want to make sure that ad um is that you know, especially in countries that have laws that come from someone who is a valid citizen or at least is similar in that place, so there's a lot of those that I think I do don't know her W As for an issue in my worldview surrounding this stuff, when it comes to some of the things we talked about before, it's like I don't believe this stuff is black and white or that you'll ever have a perfect one KI will have system um I think it's all compromises to the end and it is and and you could either build a system and either be overly aggressive and catch a higher percentage of the bad guys but then also accidentally knock out some number of the good guys , or you could be a little more lenient and say, okay no, the cost of taking out any number of good guys is too high, so we'll tolerate you knowing just a little bit more about bad guys in the system, these are value issues around that, which you appreciate more e and and these are super tricky questions and part of what I've been struggling with is not getting into it to basically do these things I've gotten to building technology that helps people connect properly, it's how and how I mean you could probably tell when we spent the first hour talking about the metaverse and the future to talk, to basically create this whole technology roadmap, to basically give people this realistic sense of presence.
It's like I'm here to do the whole thing That's like deciding what's okay and what's not. I obviously have to be involved in that because that's on a certain level, you know, I run the company and um and I can't just give that up, but I don't think that either in terms of governance, you want all those decisions be transferred to a person. I think one of the things you know our country and government is right about is the separation of powers. So you know what I've been trying to create. We created this oversight body, it's an independent body where we basically appointed people who have freedom of speech as their number one value, but they also balance that out with things like: other other human rights issues and basically board members in our community can appeal cases if they think we did it wrong and actually that board gets to make the final binding decision not us so I think that's kind of a more legitimate form of governance than just having an internal team making these decisions, or you know, maybe some of them go to me, although I don't spend a lot of time on it on a daily basis, but I think it's generally good, one Having a kind of separation of powers, where you design the governance in a way that you have different interest groups and different P people who can make those decisions and it's not just like a private company that even makes decisions about what's happening right now on our platform, how do you deal with that when it's big news that's
controversial is, like z year yeah yeah so you guys censored that too so we took a different route than twitter, um, I mean basically the background here is the FBI.
I think basically some people on our team came up to us, it was like hey um, just so you know they should be on high alert. We thought there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election. Our protocol differs from what Twitter did. You said you can't share this at all s third party fact checking program because we don't want to decide what is true and what is false and I believe it was five or seven days of basically determining if it was false which Spread 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 the distribution has gone down, it has been shared, how does that work basically, a newsfeed's ranking was a bit lower so less people were seeing it than usual, so definitely by what percentage, I don't know the head but it's meaningful but I mean but basically a lot of people can still share it we've had a lot of complaints about that was the case um you obviously know this is a hyper political issue so depending on what you think on which side of the political spectrum you either think we didn't censor it enough or censored it way too much but right but we weren't kind of black and white about it like twitter we were just like, hey look, if the fbi, which I still consider a legitimate entity in this country, is a very professional law enforcement agency, they come to us and tell us we need to be on guard about something I'm taking m ditch Seriously they specifically said you need to be on your guard with this story it's evenly distributed and to curb the spread of this story what do you mean evenly distributed I mean evenly as it's not suppressed it's not yes, yes, I mean, it sucks, yes, yes, I mean, because I mean it turned out in hindsight, I mean the fact that directors examined it, no one could say it was wrong was, so basically it had this period where it got less distribution, um, yeah, I mean, I, but I think like I think it probably sucks, although I think in the way it probably is like having to go through a criminal case but in the end being proven innocent sucks like it still sucks to have to go through a criminal case like that but in the end you're free um so it's i i don't know not whether the answer would have been re not doing anything or having no process.
I think the process was pretty reasonable. You know we still share it with people but obviously you don't want situations like that but certainly a lot more sensible than the twitter attitude and it's probably also the case of armchair quarterbacking or at least Monday morning quarterbacking I should say because at the moment you had reason to believe based on the FBI conversation with you that it wasn't real and that it was meant to be propaganda so what do you do yeah and if you then just let it out and what , if it changes the choice turns out to be a real problem and I would imagine that these kinds of decisions are the most difficult the de decisions like what is allowed and what is not allowed yes I mean what would you in this situation i don't know what i would do i must really like you first of all you are dealing with the new york post it's one of the oldest newspapers in the country so I'd say, uh, I'd want to speak to someone at the New York Post, and I'd say how did you come up with this data, e.g.
B. where do you get the information from? How do you know if that is right or not and then you have to make a decision because maybe they were fooled. It's very, it's hard because everyone wants to look at it in hindsight now that we know the laptop was real and it was a legitimate story and there's potential corruption with it which we think oh that would have shouldn't be restricted, that shouldn't have been banned, sharing on twitter then is the they didn't think at first they thought it was fake so what do they like if something comes up and the republicans come up with a plan to making it look like Joe Biden is a horrible person and they're only doing it so they can win the election, but it's really just propaganda, what to do with it, not allow that to be 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've looked at it closely enough when the New York Post talks about it. They know they're pretty smart about what they post and what they don't post when they do something, when they go through some data from a laptop and you could talk to a person, but again this is just a story like a single store , as many of these come up every day, especially in relation to divisive issues like climate change or Covid or you know foreign policy or Ukraine at any time there's like a really
contentious issue that some people think it's imperative that you have a take a very certain stance and you can't take the other stance things get promoted yes i agree and it's like being in your place and one of the things i really wanted to talk to you about is that it must be insanely difficult being in your place no matter what decision you make you're going to have a huge bunch of people upset with you and it there might be a right way to deal with that but I don't know what the right way is they're trying to be balanced and not have the decision making too centralized because I think it's hard for people to accept that like a team at Meta or that I'm personally making all these decisions and I think people should be skeptical about those kind of focused That's why a lot of the innovation that I've tried to push in governance has been around things like setting this up oversight board so you have people who are luminaries in speaking out from around the world but also in the in the u.s. uh, you know, i mean people like michael mcconnell, who i mean, he's a stanford professor, he's like he's just scared which republican president appointed him, but i mean, he eventually i think he was being considered for the supreme court i mean he's a very prominent and kind of celebrated advocate for free speech and he helped me build the thing and i think like setting up forms of governance that are independent of us and basically have the last word on a bunch of these decisions, and that's a step in the right direction, I mean in the Hunter Biden case you were talking about before you know it.
I don't want our company to decide what is misinformation and what isn't, when we work with third parties and basically let different organizations do it, no, I mean, then there's the question of whether those organizations are biased or not, and that's a very tough question, but at least we're not the ones basically sitting here deciding that we're not the ministry of truth for the world deciding if everything is true or not, so I'd say, um, that isn't a solved problem, controversy isn't going away, um, you know, I think it's interesting that the We, um, are actually more polarized than most other countries, so I think sitting in the US, it's easy to extrapolate and say, hey, it probably feels that way around the world