From The Washington Post:
Nine days after Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg dismissed as “crazy” the idea that fake news on his company’s social network played a key role in the U.S. election, President Barack Obama pulled the youthful tech billionaire aside and delivered what he hoped would be a wake-up call.
For months leading up to the vote, Obama and his top aides quietly agonized over how to respond to Russia’s brazen intervention on behalf of the Donald Trump campaign without making matters worse. Weeks after Trump’s surprise victory, some of Obama’s aides looked back with regret and wished they had done more.
Now huddled in a private room on the sidelines of a meeting of world leaders in Lima, Peru, two months before Trump’s inauguration, Obama made a personal appeal to Zuckerberg to take the threat of fake news and political disinformation seriously. Unless Facebook and the government did more to address the threat, Obama warned, it would only get worse in the next presidential race.
Zuckerberg acknowledged the problem posed by fake news. But he told Obama those messages weren’t widespread on Facebook and that there was no easy fix, according to people briefed on the exchange, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share details of a private conversation.
The conversation between Obama and Zuckerberg took place on November 19, 2016, according to the article.
Those messages weren’t widespread? We now know they likely reached millions of voters. And no easy fix? NO EASY FIX? Oh well, I guess that’s just the way the democracy crumbles.
We already knew Zuckerberg was a bit of a creep — remember, before Facebook, he released a website that let users vote on the hotness of Harvard women. But this dancing with treason feels like a whole new level of ignominy for him.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.