Mark Zuckerberg took thinly veiled swipes at Twitter over its decision to ban sharing of The Post’s exclusive report on Hunter Biden’s laptop ahead of the 2020 election, calling the rival social network’s ban overly “black and white.”
The billionaire CEO of Meta defended Facebook’s response to the Biden story during an appearance on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast after the host pressed him to explain his views on how tech platforms should handle content moderation on sensitive subjects.
“A lot of people were still able to share it,” Zuckerberg said of The Post’s Hunter Biden scoop. “We got a lot of complaints that that was the case.
“This is a hyper-political issue, so depending on what side of the political spectrum, you either think we didn’t censor enough or censored it way too much, but we weren’t as black and white about it as Twitter,” he added.
Twitter briefly suspended The Post’s account in 2020 after the laptop exposé revealed the existence of tens of thousands of emails between the president’s son and business associates. The emails revealed how Biden’s son leveraged his political access in his overseas business dealings.
When Rogan asked for his view on how the response to The Post’s story was handled, Zuckerberg acknowledged that Facebook had also reduced distribution of the report on its own platform.
Zuckerberg claimed that Facebook took a “different path than Twitter.” Republicans also have accused Facebook of suppressing conservative voices.
He said the platform opted to limit sharing on the story — but not halt it entirely — after the FBI told Meta employees to be wary of Russian propaganda ahead of the election.
“Our protocol is different than Twitter’s. What Twitter did is they said you can’t share this at all. We didn’t do that,” Zuckerberg said.
“For the five or seven days when it was basically being determined whether it was false, the distribution on Facebook was decreased, but people were still allowed to share it,” Zuckerberg added. “You could still share it, you could still consume it.”
The Post has reached out to Twitter for comment on Zuckerberg’s remarks.
The tech CEO admitted that sharing of the story was meaningfully limited on Facebook after its initial publication.
“When something like that turns out to be real, is there regret for not having it evenly distributed and for throttling the distribution of that story?” Rogan asked.
“Yeah, it sucks,” Zuckerberg responded. “It turned out after the fact, the fact-checkers looked into it, no one was able to say it was false … I think it sucks, though, in the same way that probably having to go through a criminal trial but being proven innocent in the end sucks.”
“I think the process was pretty reasonable,” he added.
Rogan agreed that Facebook’s approach was “certainly much more reasonable than Twitter’s stance.” The podcast host also acknowledged the difficult decision facing social media platforms regarding politically sensitive stories ahead of an election.
“I just don’t think they looked at it hard enough. When the New York Post is talking about it, they’re pretty smart about what they release and what they don’t release,” Rogan said.
“I think the right way is to establish principles for governance that try to be balanced and not having the decision-making too centralized,” Zuckerberg responded. “It’s hard for people to accept that some team at Meta or that I personally am making these decisions.”
Zuckerberg took another swipe at Twitter in a different portion of the nearly three-hour podcast interview with Rogan, saying that it’s “hard to spend time on” the platform “without getting too upset.”
He contrasted Twitter with Instagram, which is owned by his company. Zuckerberg said that it was “easy to spend time on Instagram and absorb a lot of positivity.”
Ariel Zilber contributed reporting.