Mark Zuckerberg called out his social-media rival on Wednesday, saying Twitter Inc. should not be fact-checking President Donald Trump — or anybody.

During a clip from an interview on Fox News’s “The Daily Briefing,” which will be aired in full Thursday, the Facebook Inc.
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co-founder and chief executive said companies shouldn’t be the truth police.


“I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online.”


— Mark Zuckerberg

“We have a different policy than Twitter on this,” he said. “Private companies probably shouldn’t be, especially these platform companies, shouldn’t be in the position of doing that.”

Facebook does, however, warn users who “like” misinformation about the coronavirus, and in March removed a Trump campaign ad that had been called misleading about the U.S. Census.

Zuckerberg also said Trump should not retaliate against social-media companies.

“In general, I think a government choosing to censor a platform because they’re worried about censorship doesn’t exactly strike me as the right reflex,” he said.

Late Wednesday, the White House said Trump will sign an executive order concerning social-media companies on Thursday. It was unclear what the order would entail. Earlier in the day, Trump threatened to “strongly regulate” or close down social-media companies that attempt to “silence conservative voices.”

Harvard professor and Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe tweeted Tuesday that Trump’s threats are “totally absurd and legally illiterate,” saying Twitter’s policy is “absolutely protected under the First Amendment as an expression of opinion.”

On Tuesday, Twitter added a fact-check warning label to two of Trump’s tweets, in which he made unsubstantiated and false claims about voting by mail.

“These tweets contain potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday. “This decision is in line with the approach we shared earlier this month.”

Twitter laid out rules earlier in May about disputed or misleading tweets, saying they will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and only removed if they are harmful.

Facebook, Twitter
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and other social-media sites have been harshly criticized in recent years over their failures to monitor misinformation on their platforms.

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2020-05-27