Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg Doesn't Think Fake News "Swayed the Election"
"We're looking at things, like working with third parties, helping to label false news, doing the things we can do to make it clearer what's a hoax on Facebook," she said in an interview that aired on Thursday's 'Today.'
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg agrees with the social network's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, that, despite criticism, fake news spread on Facebook did not determine the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
"There have been claims that it swayed the election, and we don't think it swayed the election,'' Sandberg said in a pretaped interview with Savannah Guthrie that aired on Thursday's Today. (Guthrie began her maternity leave last Friday.)
Still, Sandberg said the tech giant is looking at how it can better distinguish between real and fake news on its platform.
"We're looking at things, like working with third parties, helping to label false news, doing the things we can do to make it clearer what's a hoax on Facebook," she added.
"We've been working on this for a long time, and we've taken important steps, but there's a lot more to do,'' Sandberg continued. "We know that people don't want to see hoaxes on Facebook, and we don't want to see hoaxes on Facebook. And so we're working on it because misinformation is something we take seriously and something we're going to continue to iterate on the service."
Zuckerberg last month outlined plans to filter out "misinformation" on the social network, creating better technical systems to detect what people will flag as false before individual users do so. The CEO said Facebook was exploring the option of labeling certain stories with a warning that they had been flagged as false by third-party sites, including fact-checking organizations.
"The problems here are complex, both technically and philosophically," Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. "We believe in giving people a voice, which means erring on the side of letting people share what they want whenever possible. We need to be careful not to discourage sharing of opinions or to mistakenly restrict accurate content. We do not want to be arbiters of truth ourselves, but instead rely on our community and trusted third parties."
Shortly after the election, Zuckerberg said the idea that fake news influenced the outcome was "crazy."
Sandberg also talked about the top global topics on Facebook for 2016, led by the U.S. election for the second straight year, as well as the top Facebook Live video content. The most viewed Facebook Live video was the viral Chewbacca mom clip, which racked up 160 million views.
"For anyone who watched it or watched it as many times as I did, the laughter was infectious,'' Sandberg said of that video. "And there was something about the power of video, watching her laugh, that really brought people in."