Rival social media CEOs Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey had a public spat Wednesday night after Zuckerberg criticized Twitter for its fact-check of President Trump’s prediction that mass voting-by-mail would lead to fraud.
Speaking to Fox News’ Dana Perino, Zuckerberg — who has repeatedly pushed back on criticism for his decision to not censor political speech — said that Facebook has “a different policy than Twitter on this.”
“I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online,” he stated. “Private companies probably shouldn’t be, especially these platform companies, shouldn’t be in the position of doing that.”
Dorsey later fired back at Zuckerberg’s “arbiter of truth” barb, explaining that Twitter’s goal “is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves.”
“More transparency from us is critical so folks can clearly see the why behind our actions,” he tweeted. Twitter promised that it had policy “changes” in the works on Tuesday, after calls for the president’s censorship over repeated tweets aimed at a conspiracy theory involving MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough intensified.
President Trump warned Wednesday that he could “strongly regulate” or “close down” social-media companies if they “totally silence conservatives voices.” He also warned Twitter directly that “Big action” was coming after the platform added caveats to push back on the president’s claims that mail-in ballots were “substantially fraudulent” and could result in a “rigged election.”
Big tech hawk Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) said Twitter should lose protections under Section 230, which gives platforms legal immunity from content uploaded by a third party, if it continues “to editorialize and censor and act like traditional publishers.”
President Trump is expected to sign an executive order on Thursday that would direct federal officials to reconsider the scope of Section 230, according to the Washington Post.