Zuckerberg says Facebook wants to 'reduce the amount of politics' on platform

'People don't want politics and fighting to take over their experience on our services,' CEO says

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to "reduce the amount of politics" on the platform as his company and other social media sites face criticism for facilitating political divides.

Zuckerberg made the comment during Facebook's fourth-quarter 2020 earnings call last week when he also announced that the platform would be banning political groups.

"We're also currently considering steps that we can take to reduce the amount of political content in News Feed as well," the Facebook founder said in reference to the dashboard users see when they log into Facebook featuring statuses, news stories and photos that other users have shared.

The Facebook logo is displayed on an iPad in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

He added that Facebook is still working on the effort and clarified that the social media company will still "enable people to encourage in political groups and discussions if they want to."

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"One of the top pieces of feedback that we are hearing from our community right now is that people don't want politics and fighting to take over their experience on our services," he said. "So, one theme for this year is that we're going to continue to focus on helping millions of more people participate in healthy communities, and we're going to focus even more on being a force for bringing people closer together."

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FBFACEBOOK INC.254.47-9.84-3.72%

The company said in October that it was planning to pause recommendations for political groups to U.S. users ahead of the 2020 presidential election; now, Facebook is looking to make that pause permanent and on a global scale.

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A number of civil rights and watchdog groups like The Sleeping Giants have been demanding Facebook strengthen its efforts to combat hate on the platform since the summer.

A federal lawsuit filed in September accuses Facebook of "shirking" its responsibility to remove pages and accounts belonging to those who recruited others for what resulted in deadly shootings in Kenosha, Wis., at the end of August, but attorney Jason Flores-Williams filed a notice to dismiss the case last week, according to the Kenosha News.

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The Jan. 6 Capitol riots furthered demands for investigations into social media companies like Facebook and how they play a role in radicalizing people and instigating in-person violence.

Other demands for censorship have led to debate among lawmakers, tech experts and civil rights groups about how social media giants should tackle violent or provocative speech that is shared across different platforms while simultaneously protecting free speech and privacy rights.

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The FBI told Fox News last week that it was "reviewing" requests from congressional lawmakers to investigate Facebook, Twitter and Parler for their potential roles in the Jan. 6 riots.

"We have no comment on the specifics of the investigation, but we are reviewing these requests from members of Congress," the FBI said at the time.

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FOX Business' Stephanie Pagnones contributed to this report.