The former secretary of state criticized the Facebook chief during a recent screening of Netflix’s “The Great Hack,” The Guardian reported on Monday, saying Zuckerberg “should pay a price” for harming democracy around the world.
Clinton did not expand on what that price should be.
Her comments came after Facebook and Zuckerberg has been condemned in recent weeks for letting political ads run without being fact-checked. That decision has been skewered by 2020 presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren and plenty of other pundits. Zuckerberg, though, said he won’t be changing the company’s stance on political ads. “In a democracy,” he said during a speech in October, “I believe people should decide what is credible, not tech companies.”
Clinton, according to The Guardian, is already worried about the 2020 election “because propaganda works,” she said, in reference to the Russian disinformation campaign that ran bogus ads during the 2016 election. These campaigns are “only going to be more powerful going forward because it is more well tested. They know what they were successful at,” Clinton said.
Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives have said the company has expanded its ad review team since the 2016 election, looking to thwart any new misinformation campaigns. Facebook has, on multiple occasions in the last two years, removed thousands of accounts engaged in “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” with the banned accounts coming from Russia, Iran, and other foreign countries.
Clinton then raised concerns over Facebook being the “principal news source for more than half of the American people.” This statistic was also mentioned by Aaron Sorkin in his New York Times piece blasting Zuckerberg last week, but The Times later ran a correction saying it was saying it was more than 40% of Americans who use Facebook as their primary news source.
Clinton added: “When Facebook is the principal news source for more than half of the American people, and the only source of news that most of them pay any attention to, and if it announces that it has no responsibility for the airing of false ads … how are you supposed to get accurate information about anything, let alone candidates running for office?”
Hillary Clinton Says Facebook Chief Mark Zuckerberg ‘Should Pay a Price’ for Harm to Democracy