Zuckerberg attempts to clarify Holocaust denial comments

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Mark Zuckerberg says when it comes to fake news - even from extremists like Holocaust deniers - Facebook will not ban people from expressing their opinion, but will seek to stop it from spreading across their services. On Tuesday, the company's global head of policy management, Monika Bickert, testified before the House Judiciary Committee, where representatives grilled her on why Facebook allows Infowars to maintain an official page on its network, particularly after an armed gunman burst into a D.C. pizza joint based on bogus child trafficking claims propagated in part by Jones's site.

When asked about who was to blame for the Cambridge Analytica scandal and subsequent data misuse, the 34-year-old entrepreneur and philanthropist took responsibility, saying he "designed the platform, so if someone's going to get fired for this, it should be me". Zuckerberg added it's hard to understand a person's intent.

The controversy is the latest example of Facebook reckoning with its role in spreading disinformation.

"We just don't think banning Pages for sharing conspiracy theories or false news is the right way to go", Facebook said at the time.

"The approach that we've taken to false news is not to say, you can't say something wrong on the Internet", he said. While he said that, as a Jew, he finds that "deeply offensive", he doesn't think it is a cause for removal. Thought Facebook won't remove it, it also won't make it widely distributed in News Feeds, he explained; rather, it'll be pushed down its algorithm. "There are certain forms of misinformation that have contributed to physical harm, and we are making a policy change which will enable us to take that type of content down". "But at the end of the day, I don't believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong", he said.

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However, he admitted that Facebook was "slower" in identifying such groups which have set up "a network of fake accounts in order to spread divisive information".

The remarks were denounced by Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League. "ADL will continue to challenge Facebook on this position and call on them to regard Holocaust denial as a violation of their community guidelines".

Zuckerberg sent Swisher an email this afternoon, attempting to clarify his earlier remarks, saying he had no intentions of "defending the intent" of people who deny the Holocaust.

Misinformation removed in Sri Lanka under the new policy included content falsely contending that Muslims were poisoning food given or sold to Buddhists, according to Facebook.

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