Meta (Facebook) CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed recently that the scientific “establishment” asked his platform to “censor” posts about COVID-19 that ended up being “debatable or true.”
In his comments during Thursday’s episode of the “Lex Fridman Podcast,” Zuckerberg discussed the “issues and challenges” of executing his platform’s policies on removing “misinformation.”
He said it can be “really tricky” when some content is false, “but may not be harmful, so it’s like, alright, are you going to censor someone for just being wrong, if there’s no kind of harm implication of what they’re doing?’”
As an example, Zuckerberg said, “Just take some of the stuff around COVID earlier on in the pandemic, where there were real health implications, but there hadn’t been time to fully vet a bunch of the scientific assumptions, and, unfortunately, I think a lot of the establishment on that kind of waffled on a bunch of facts.”
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Zuckerberg noted the “establishment” encouraged him to enforce these shaky facts, saying they “asked for a bunch of things to be censored that, in retrospect, ended up being more debatable or true.”
He admitted to Fridman that he believes the requests made to him by the scientific community hurt their credibility with the public. “It really undermines trust,” he added.
Fridman prompted Zuckerberg’s answer by mentioning his concern that the nuance and depth of information that can be found on the internet and currently in AI systems could be “lost” thanks to content moderation pushed by governments and institutions. “It’s a scary thought,” the host stated.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, Zuckerberg told CBS anchor Gayle King that his platform had removed 18 million posts containing misinformation about the virus.
At the time Zuckerberg claimed, “If we see harmful misinformation on the platform, then we take it down. It’s against our policy.” However, he also admitted his system for combating misinformation wasn’t perfect.
He told King, “But do we catch everything? Of course, there are mistakes that we make or areas where we need to improve. But that’s the best number that we have in terms of what we’ve seen and what our systems have been able to detect.”
Last year, several state Attorneys General compiled evidence alleging that Zuckerberg coordinated with former National Institution of Allergy and Infectious Disease Director Dr. Fauci to “discredit and suppress” the theory that the COVID-19 virus may have originated in a Wuhan lab.
The U.S. Department of Energy concluded earlier this year that the pandemic most likely did leak from the Wuhan lab in China.
Source: Fox News