A congressman attending Harvard at the same time as Mark Zuckerberg accused Facebook's co-founder of "rewriting history" amid an ongoing whirlwind of the social media giant's statement that it will not police political statements, even if it contains direct lies .
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), A former Marine Corps reservist who served in Iraq, made the comments Tuesday after Zuckerberg's address at Georgetown University last week. During the event, Zuckerberg cited the Iraq War as at least partially responsible for its decision to create Facebook and defended the company as a bastion of freedom of speech.
"I remember feeling that if more people had a voice to share their experiences, maybe things would have gone differently," the Facebook founder said Thursday. "In my early years, my belief that giving everyone a voice strengthened it powerless and pushes society to improve over time. "
But those comments surprised Gallego and others who were at Harvard in the first years of the social media network, after it was spawned from a website created to rank students based on attractiveness They said that the earliest versions of Facebook didn't even allow users to communicate with each other or discuss political issues.
"I was the only reservist on campus and was very aware of the Iraq debate on campus," Gallego, who said that he had one of the "first" Facebook accounts, wrote Tuesday. "This is no where near the truth, it was designed to be [an] easier to clean MySpace based on our housebooks."
The attorney clarified his remarks in an interview with The Washington Post, accusing Zuckerberg of trying to recreate Facebook's image as it fires over a recent decision to allow political ads filled with lies to spread on the platform. Facebook has become much paralyzed after allowing a Donald Trump campaign ad to spread on the network, even though it contained falsehoods about Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden.
post about Zuckerberg's history of the Iraq war. "It's false. It's completely false."
Zuckerberg's Georgetown speech was one of his more ardent defenses of the social media network in recent months, which has also faced a lot of criticism over its data practices. Facebook was fined with record stops of $ 5 billion by the Federal Trade Commission in July for breaches of privacy related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal (though many critics referred to that figure as just a slap on the wrist).
In a separate interview with the Post, Zuckerberg said he was "deeply" concerned about an "erosion of truth" in society, but said that responsibility should not lie with Facebook to politicize such discourse.
"I don't think people will live in a world where you can just say that technology companies decide it's 100 percent true, "he said. "And I think these tensions are something we have to live with."
These statements will hardly limit the control of the social media network. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Also the presidential candidate, has stabbed Facebook with its own plethora of fake political ads targeting Zuckerberg himself. Other tech tycoons have suggested the company is broken up, and 46 state attorneys in general are investigating Facebook's business practices.
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