Hillary Clinton heavily criticized Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for his “authoritarian” and “Trumpian” stance on political speech during a weekend interview with The Atlantic.
Citing a doctored video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi which Facebook initially refused to remove last year, Clinton argued that Zuckerberg has been “somehow persuaded” that “it’s to his and Facebook’s advantage not to cross Trump.”
“That’s what I believe. And it just gives me a pit in my stomach,” Clinton said.
Zuckerberg has come under fire in recent months for resisting mounting calls to change a Facebook’s lax political speech policy, which permits the running of political ads that contain false information.
“In general, in a democracy, I think that people should be able to hear for themselves what politicians are saying,” Zuckerberg said in October.
The stance caused hundreds of Facebook employees to circulate an internal letter criticizing Zuckerberg.
“Free speech and paid speech are not the same thing,” the letter stated. “Misinformation affects us all. Our current policies on fact checking people in political office, or those running for office, are a threat to what FB stands for. We strongly object to this policy as it stands.”
Clinton echoed the claim in her weekend interview, accusing Zuckerberg of prioritizing profit over the health of the nation’s political discourse.
“They have, in my view, contorted themselves into making arguments about freedom of speech and censorship— which they are hanging on to because it’s in their commercial interests,” she said.
Clinton has openly criticized a number of prominent public figures in recent months. Last week, she told The Hollywood Reporter that she stood by damaging comments about Senator Bernie Sanders that “nobody likes him” and “he was a career politician” in her upcoming docuseries.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D., Hawaii) also filed a defamation suit against Clinton last week over October comments in which Clinton suggested Gabbard was a “Russian asset.”