Did Facebook news filtering help Trump win? Zuckerberg denies "crazy" social media bias claims


Mark Zuckerberg has hit back against claims that soical media filtering helped Donald Trump win the US Presidential election, by tailoring personal newsfeeds to fit the views of users, rather then suggesting opposing perspectives.

Facing criticism that fake news on Facebook aided the rise of Donald Trump, founder Mark Zuckerberg strongly defended his network.

Speaking on stage at Techonomy, a technology conference in California, Zuckerberg said Facebook should not be held responsible.

"The idea that fake news on Facebook influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea," he said.

"If you believe that then I don't think you have internalised the message Trump supporters are trying to send in this election."

Some data has shown that fake stories were being far more widely shared on the platform than follow up stories debunking the claims.

At the same event, Zuckerberg offered an optimistic view of Mr Trump's presidency, saying that his goals of improving global healthcare and connectivity did not necessarily require the co-operation of government.

Fake news is not a uniquely Republican problem. An analysis by BuzzFeed found that 38% of posts shared from three large rightwing politics pages on Facebook included “false or misleading information” and that three large leftwing pages did the same 19% of the time.


Above: An example of a fake news article on Facebook. (Source: Buzzfeed)

However, on the Republican side the research found Trump routinely repeated false news, such as Obama’s heritage, calling climate change a hoax or questioning “crooked” Hillary Clinton’s health, at high-profile rallies, while urging his followers not to trust "corrupt" traditional media and look at the fake news sites instead.

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