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Zuckerberg claims Facebook is better prepared to fight election interference

James Cook
Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said he’s “pretty confident” that the social network will be able to combat election inference in the upcoming US presidential election.

The company’s chief executive admitted in an interview with BBC News that Facebook was “behind” in defending the 2016 presidential election.

“Countries are going to continue to try and interfere and we are going to see issues like that,” Mr Zuckerberg said, “but we have learnt a lot since 2016 and I feel pretty confident that we are going to be able to protect the integrity of the upcoming election.”

He claimed that Facebook is involved in an ongoing “arms race” against countries including Russia, China and Iran as it tries to block them from interfering in elections.

The executive previously said he regretted a comment he made after the 2016 election in which he said it was a “pretty crazy idea” that propaganda on Facebook may have influenced the outcome of the election.

Mr Zuckerberg also told BBC News that Facebook will not remove posts which promote a conspiracy theory that links the coronavirus pandemic to the rollout of 5G technology unless the posts may cause “immediate harm.”

The company has removed posts which make false claims about potential cures and treatments for the virus.

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In March, Facebook and Twitter removed a video posted by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro which falsely claimed that chloroquine phosphate can cure coronavirus.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that the drug can cause serious health consequences and may even be fatal.

“That is obviously not true and so we took it down. It doesn't matter who says it,” Mr Zuckerberg said on the removal of the video posted by Mr Bolsonaro.