Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he wants to reduce politics on his social media platform as Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms face increasing criticism for creating what some have described as political echo chambers.
“We’re also currently considering steps that we can take to reduce the amount of political content in News Feed as well,” Zuckerberg said on Tuesday during the company’s Q4 2020 earnings call.
It’s not clear how Facebook will achieve that as Zuckerberg did not elaborate.
The Menlo Park, California-based company previously said it would stop recommending political groups to its users.
The company, Zuckerberg said Tuesday, is working programs to “enable people to engage in political groups and discussions if they want to.”
“One of the top pieces of feedback that we are hearing from our community right now is that people don’t want politics and fighting to take over their experience on our services,” he continued. “So, one theme for this year is that we’re going to continue to focus on helping millions of more people participate in healthy communities, and we’re going to focus even more on being a force for bringing people closer together.”
According to an update from the company several days ago, more than 78,000 Facebook and Instagram accounts were removed after posting QAnon content since August 2020.
“We continue to strengthen our enforcement by identifying additional militarized social movements, new terms associated with QAnon and how people attempt to skirt our detection, including focusing more on Facebook profiles used to organize and promote these movements and groups on our platform,” Facebook said in an update on Jan. 19.
Facebook added that “as of January 12, 2021, we have identified over 890 militarized social movements to date and in total, removed about 3,400 Pages, 19,500 groups, 120 events, 25,300 Facebook profiles, and 7,500 Instagram accounts. We’ve also removed about 3,300 Pages, 10,500 groups, 510 events, 18,300 Facebook profiles, and 27,300 Instagram accounts for violating our policy against QAnon.”
Twitter, Facebook, Google, and other Big Tech companies are facing increasing scorn from users after the platforms banned President Donald Trump and other prominent conservatives in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol. A number of users have said they would move to alternative social media apps and chat apps like Gab, Signal, Telegram, and MeWe.
Meanwhile, a video that was leaked via Project Veritas on Monday appeared to show Zuckerberg praising President Joe Biden’s executive orders.
“In his first day, President Biden already issued a number of executive orders on areas that we as a company care quite deeply about and have for some time,” he said. “Areas like immigration, preserving DACA, ending restrictions on travel from Muslim-majority countries, as well as other Executive Orders on climate and advancing racial justice and equity. I think these were all important and positive steps.”
Project Veritas also released a video showing Zuckerberg appearing to criticize Trump.
Facebook has not yet responded to a request for comment.