Mark Zuckerbergthe founder of Facebook and CEO of Meta, -the conglomerate that encompasses Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp y Messenger-, has admitted that he received instructions from the FBI to censor information about the Hunter Biden scandal. “We just thought, ‘Look, if the FBI, which I still see as a legitimate institution in this country, is a very professional law enforcement, comes to us and tells us that we need to be on guard about something, then take it. seriously,’” he revealed in a lengthy and highly unusual interview with Joe Roganthe person in charge of one of the most popular podcasts in the United States.
Zuckerberg was also questioned about the “moderation” work carried out on social networks and, specifically, about Facebook’s decision in October 2020 —just before the US presidential elections— to reduce the spread of a press article with accusations against Hunter Biden, son of the then Democratic candidate and now president, Joe Biden.
As he explained, the spread of this information was limited while it was analyzed by verifiers, a decision that was made after the FBI asked Meta to monitor possible interference in the electoral process. That response generated some controversy in the United States, as it has been widely commented on by conservative figures, who see it as an admission that the FBI tried to help Biden win against the Republican candidate, Donald Trump.
Two hours of physical exercise
“You wake up in the morning, you look at my phone, you get a million messages, stuff coming through. Normally, it’s not a good thing. (…) What is happening in the world that I have to attend to?” Zuckerberg assured.
“It’s almost as if every day you wake up and get punched in the stomach,” added the head of Meta, who explained that, after processing that information, he spends an hour or two doing physical exercise to clear his mind. That detail of his life is just one of the many that Zuckerberg shared during an interview of about three hours with the controversial Rogan, whose space has been heavily criticized in recent years for giving space to information and theories with little basis about the Covid- 19, among other things.
The founder of Facebook dedicated a large part of the conversation to virtual reality, his company’s current big bet, and announced that Meta will launch a new team for this type of content next October. In addition, he spoke of his future, assuring that, despite the pressure of the position, he is not considering leaving it at all, as he has many goals for the next 10 or 15 years.
Zuckerberg also touched on the issue of the social responsibility that networks have and defended that he sees the role of Facebook and the rest of its products as that of a platform so that people “can express what they want and have the content they want.”
“Every time we try to put in some type of opinion that is different from what people want, our products do worse and we are in a very competitive space,” he said. Comparing social networks, he assured that it is very difficult for him to spend time on Twitter —one of his rivals— without getting angry, due to the tone of many of the users, while he considers that Instagram —one of his businesses— is a “super positive space”.