A defiant Mark Zuckerberg on Monday stood by Facebook’s decision to keep political ads on its platform that knowingly contain false information. In an interview with Gayle King on CBS This Morning, the social-media giant’s founder said, “What I believe is that in a democracy, it’s really important that people can see for themselves what politicians are saying, so they can make their own judgments. And, you know, I don’t think that a private company should be censoring politicians or news.” King pointed to a letter that 200 Facebook employees wrote to Zuckerberg asking him to reconsider the decision, which said that “free speech and paid speech are not the same.” She asked the CEO, who sat alongside his wife, Priscilla Chan, if they had a point, to which he responded, “At the end of the day, I just think that in a democracy, people should be able to see for themselves what politicians are saying.”
Zuckerberg came under scrutiny last month for having an under-the-radar dinner at the White House with President Trump and tech mogul Peter Thiel, which was first reported by NBC News. The CEO told King that he wanted to “respect that it was a private dinner,” and also acknowledged that there are “real issues” that Facebook needs to work on. Lawmakers have urged Zuckerberg to remove misleading political ads because they have the potential to interfere with the next presidential election.