Zuckerberg: 99% of Facebook Content Is 'Authentic'

By Features PCmag

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that hoaxes and fake news occasionally show up on his social network, but that it was "extremely unlikely" they changed the outcome of the recent US presidential election.

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Zuckerberg's comments, posted to Facebook on Saturday, echo those he made last week when asked about Facebook's role in the election, which resulted in an historic win for President-elect Donald Trump.

"Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99 percent of what people see is authentic," Zuckerberg wrote. "Only a very small amount is fake news and hoaxes. The hoaxes that do exist are not limited to one partisan view, or even to politics."

Facebook has faced repeated criticism following its decision in August to replace the human editors that once curated its "Trending Topics" section with computer algorithms. Since the change, multiple fake news stories have appeared in the trending section.

Facebook Vice President Adam Mosseri acknowledged in August that fake news on Facebook is a problem, and said that the company relies on users to identify it. Zuckerberg hinted that the social network would roll out more tools for users to flag hoaxes and fake news in the near future.

"We have already launched work enabling our community to flag hoaxes and fake news, and there is more we can do here," he wrote. "We have made progress, and we will continue to work on this to improve further."

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Citing sources with direct knowledge of the company's decision-making, Gizmodo reported on Monday that an update to the news feed that could detect fake news was shelved earlier this year after it disproportionately impacted right-wing news sites by downgrading or removing that content from people's feeds.

Even as Zuckerberg downplayed the role that fake news on Facebook played in the election, he did not address suggestions that the mere existence of the social network influenced Trump's victory.

A recent Pew Research Center study found that 20 percent of social media users have modified their stance on a social or political issue because of something they saw on one of these services. Another 17 percent said social media helped changed their views about a specific candidate.

This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.