Mark Zuckerberg strongly defended Facebook on Thursday after the social networking site faced criticism saying it helped in the rise of Donald Trump. Zuckerberg called the claims "crazy" after the Republican candidate was elected President of the United States.
Zuckerberg spoke out about the criticism while on stage at Techonomy, a technology conference in California, saying that Facebook should not be held responsible.
"The idea that fake news on Facebook influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea," he said, according to BBC. "If you believe that then I don't think you have internalized the message Trump supporters are trying to send in this election."
Fake stories on Facebook were being far more widely shared than follow up stories debunking the claims, according to some data.
Over the last few months, Facebook's News Feed, which is designed to show users content it thinks will be of most interest and are trending at the time, has become a primary source of news circulation.
Earlier this year, Facebook was accused of being anti-Trump when rumors surfaced that its human moderators were favoring liberal stories to appear in people's "trending stories" column.
Following this, the platform removed its human team, instead using an algorithm to determine which stories were shown to be most popular, despite denying the allegations.
During the conference, Zuckerberg was asked about checks and balances that are needed to keep a company like Facebook in line.
"My goal, and what I care about, is giving people the power to share so we can make the world more open and connected. That requires building a good version of News Feed. We still have work to do on that. We’re going to keep improving it," Zuckerberg said. "On the community guidelines, I think as norms change and people want to see more news, I think we'll have to continue to evolve the guidelines to reflect the value that the community holds."
When asked if Facebook had a hint that Trump would win or that it knew about how influential the business mogul is with his supporters, Zuckerberg denied they could have predicted the same.
“There’s not really a way that a company like ours would happen to know something like that. We could do that, but so could someone else,” he pointed out.
At the same event, Zuckerberg said that he was optimistic about Trump's presidency.