Fake news on Facebook didn't sway US election: Zuckerberg
Menlo Park, California-based social media behemoth Facebook Inc's co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has rejected allegations against his company in the recently concluded US election where Republican Party's Donald Trump was elected as the country's 45th president.
It was alleged that fake news posted by people on the world's biggest social network swayed the election results towards the Republican Party's candidate.
"Personally, I think that fake news on Facebook—of which it is a very small amount of the content—influenced the election is a pretty crazy idea," Zuckerberg said at an event in California.
He said the social media site exposed its 1.8 billion monthly users to different views, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The US election this year witnessed a fierce neck-to-neck competition between the two presidential candidates—Hillary Clinton of the Democratic Party and Trump.
Critics of Facebook have been saying that the company needs to do more to ensure that fake news don't get spread that easily on the site. They argued that the social media major allowed false news to spread rampant on the site and its algorithm tended to echo these voices.
Speaking at the Techonomy 2016 conference, Zuckerberg, a Harvard University dropout, said, "Why would you think fake news would be on one side, but not on the other?"
"Right now the problem isn't that diverse information isn't thereâ€¦ but we haven't gotten people to engage with it in higher proportions," he said.
Zuckerberg had come under fire early this year, when Trump posted two posts on his Facebook page, calling for a ban on Muslims from entering the US. Even though there were protests to take it down, the company's executives decided not to remove it.
Zuckerberg said the site is weighing "newsworthiness as a higher part of the community guidelines." He told the audience that the site had to be careful when removing posts published by the president-elect who has close to 15 million followers on Facebook. "That's mainstream political discourse and we need to be pretty careful," he said.
Facebook has around 1.8 billion users across the globe monthly. Its monthly user count is higher than the population of India and the US put together.
Approximately 84.9% of the US-listed firm's daily active users are outside the US and Canada.
As per data compiled by Statista.com as of May 2016, India is the biggest market for Facebook. India has more users at 195 million than the US at 191 million.
Brazil, which stands third, has less than half the number of users at 90 million.