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Mark Zuckerberg Says Electoral Interference Is Like 'Arms Race,' Admits Facebook Wasn't Prepared For 2016 Election

Mark Zuckerberg Says Electoral Interference Is Like 'Arms Race,' Admits Facebook Wasn't Prepared For 2016 Election

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that preventing electoral interference is like an “arms race.”

What Happened

Talking with the BBC’s Simon Jack, Zuckerberg admitted that Facebook was “behind” in the 2016 US presidential election. He said that the social media giant was unprepared for the state-sponsored interference in the elections of 2016 and has since learned its lessons. 

Zuckerberg claimed that Facebook was now better prepared than other companies and even governments in tackling electoral interference.
The CEO said, “Countries are going to continue to try and interfere and we are going to see issues like that but we have [learned] a lot since 2016 and I feel pretty confident that we are going to be able to protect the integrity of the upcoming election."

Commenting on the coronavirus pandemic, Zuckerberg said, “Things like saying that something is a proven cure for the virus when in fact it isn’t, we will take that down.”

Why It Matters

Zuckerberg revealed that Facebook’s COVID-19 focus was on three main areas: responding to the acute health crisis, helping people stay connected and economic recovery.

Touching on Facebook’s efforts in helping small businesses, Zuckerberg said his company was doing “anything to help small businesses survive.” 

On Monday, the company launched Facebook Shops, a platform that will help companies sell products on Facebook and Instagram, while Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, announced a $20 million grant for women, minority and veteran-owned businesses. 

The CEO was defensive on his personal involvement and control over Facebook, citing the company’s ownership structure as beneficial for making long-term strategic decisions, such as not selling the company to rival Yahoo.
He said, ‘If it had been different, then we would have sold out to Yahoo years ago, and who knows what would have happened then.”

Facebook Price Action

Facebook shares traded 0.80% higher at $231.80 in the after-hours session on Wednesday. The shares had closed the regular session 6.04% higher at $229.97.

Image Credit: Wikimedia.


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