WASHINGTON (CBS SF & AP) — President Donald Trump is calling Facebook “anti-Trump.”
His tweet Wednesday comes days after the social media company agreed to provide material to congressional investigators probing Russia interference in the 2016 election.
Trump tweeted: “Facebook was always anti-Trump.The Networks were always anti-Trump hence,Fake News, (at)nytimes(apologized) & (at)wapo were anti-Trump. Collusion?’
The President’s comments came days after Facebook said it will provide the contents of 3,000 ads bought by a Russian agency to congressional investigators and make political advertising on its platform more transparent. Several committees are investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Trump also said on Twitter that “the people were Pro-Trump!” He adds: “Virtually no President has accomplished what we have accomplished in the first 9 months-and economy roaring.”
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to Trump’s tweet on Wednesday afternoon.
“Trump says Facebook is against him,” Zuckerberg said. “Liberals say we helped Trump. Both sides are upset about ideas and content they don’t like. That’s what running a platform for all ideas looks like.”
Zuckerberg addressed criticism last week that had been leveled at his social platform after it was revealed earlier this month that hundreds of phony Facebook accounts, likely run from Russia, spent about $100,000 on ads aimed at stirring up divisive issues such as gun control and race relations during the 2016 campaign.
The chairman of the Senate intelligence committee said that Facebook executives should testify as part of its probe into Russian meddling in the U.S. election, and that the social media giant “seems to have been less than forthcoming” with Congress.
“Facebook seems to have been less than forthcoming on potentially how they were used,” said Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., adding that it’s “just a question of when, and potentially the scope of what that hearing would be.”
Zuckerberg announced in a Facebook video post that his company would not be used to undermine democracy.
“The integrity of our elections is fundamental to democracy around the world,” he said. “Our teams have found and shut down thousands of fake accounts that could be attempting to influence elections in many other countries, including recently in the French election…I wish I could tell you we are going to be able to stop all interference, but that would’t be realistic.”
Zuckerberg has admitted that at first Facebook executives didn’t think the Russians actually bought ads.
“We have been investigating this for many months, and for a while we had found no evidence of fake accounts linked to Russia running ads,” Zuckerberg explained.
But he confirmed there were paid ads: more than 3,000 of them.
“When we recently uncovered this activity, we provided that information to the special counsel,” Zuckerberg said. “We also briefed Congress — and this morning I directed our team to provide the ads we’ve found to Congress as well.”
He said Facebook techs were still looking for any other Russian accounts, and he vowed more transparency going forward.
“Not only will you have to disclose which page paid for an ad, but we will also make it so you can visit an advertiser’s page and see the ads they’re currently running to any audience on Facebook,” said Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg hinted that the company may not provide much information publicly, saying that the ongoing federal investigation will limit what he can reveal.
“As a general rule, we are limited in what we can discuss publicly about law enforcement investigations, so we may not always be able to share our findings publicly,” he said.