After Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said multiple times that he will not censor political ads for accuracy, CNN chief Jeff Zucker called the decision “absolutely ludicrous” on Thursday while at a conference sponsored by CNN.
“Given what happened in 2016, maybe they should just sit it out and not take any political ads until they figure it out,” Zucker said, referring to Facebook’s considerable influence in 2016 over the presidential election, including Russia’s fake social media accounts.
CNN has recently been utilizing more fact-checking techniques while on air. This week, President Donald Trump said that a prohibition on taking money from foreign governments was fake — CNN aired a clip of Trump talking on a split screen, with the other side showing the actual constitutional wording, the Associated Press reported.
Zuckerberg’s defense of his decision to not censor any ads is that people should “see for themselves what politicians are saying” and that he doesn’t think private companies should “censor” politicians in any way. While Facebook has third-party fact-checkers, political ads run on the site are completely free from fact-checking.
Zucker on Thursday also came down with some of the harshest critiques of Fox News he has ever said publicly.
“I don’t think it’s a journalistic operation,” Zucker said, going on to call it “conspiracy TV.”
Despite Zucker’s criticisms, CNN continues to have paid contributors on its shows that support Trump’s policies. They recently hired former Wisconsin Republican congressman Sean Duffy. Zucker said that he would consider hiring former Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, who quit the network earlier this month.
“It is hard to find people who will come on and support the president’s point of view,” Zucker said. “We need these voices.”