Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will tell senators on Tuesday that his company worked with election officials nationwide to quickly remove false content about elections on its platforms, according to the company.
In testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mr. Zuckerberg will say his company removed posts using ‘militarized language’ about poll watching or posts that suggested efforts to intimidate election officials were underway.
“We partnered with election officials to remove false claims about polling conditions and displayed warnings on more than 150 million pieces of content after review by our independent third-party fact-checkers,” Mr. Zuckerberg will say, according to his prepared remarks. “We put in place strong voter suppression policies prohibiting explicit or implicit misrepresentations about how or when to vote as well as attempts to use threats related to COVID-19 to scare people into not voting.”
Liberals and supporters of presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden have argued that Facebook has not done enough to crack down on conservative content. The liberal women’s group UltraViolet said it met privately with Facebook last week and urged the company to implement more restrictions on groups spreading ‘right-wing’ disinformation on their platform.
Mr. Zuckerberg will emphasize his company’s investments in its security systems and in helping to secure the integrity of elections from threats at home and abroad.
“At Facebook, we often have to balance competing equities. Sometimes the right thing to do from a safety or security perspective isn’t the best for privacy or free expression, so we have to choose what we believe is best for our community and for the world,” Mr. Zuckerberg will say, according to his prepared testimony. “Making these tradeoffs is not straightforward, and whatever path we choose, inevitably some people are disappointed.”
Conservatives are furious with Facebook over how it has handled content about the election from President Trump’s supporters. Facebook removed the group ‘Stop the Steal,’ after it gathered 350,000 followers in under 24 hours, according to its creator, Women for America First co-founder Amy Kremer. Facebook said it took action because of “worrying calls for violence from some members of the group.”
Republican senators have prepared to flay Mr. Zuckerberg with questions about his company’s actions.
“I’ve heard from @Facebook whistleblower who revealed @Facebook and @Google and @Twitter coordinate to censor,” said Sen. Josh Hawley, Missouri Republican, on Monday evening. “Facebook has an internal platform to manage it. I’ll be asking Mark Zuckerberg and @jack about this at tomorrow’s hearing.”
Mr. Zuckerberg will express a willingness to work with GOP and Democratic members in the new Congress on regulation, according to Facebook.
Mr. Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will face questions from 12 Republican senators and 10 Democratic senators in seven-minute questioning periods each, primarily focused on their handling of the 2020 election.