Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told his employees that Joe Biden will be the next U.S. president, according to a spokesman.
“I believe the outcome of the election is now clear and Joe Biden is going to be our next president,” Zuckerberg said at a companywide meeting, based on a report from BuzzFeed News. “It’s important that people have confidence that the election was fundamentally fair, and that goes for the tens of millions of people that voted for Trump.”
It was his first time to acknowledge the incoming Biden administration, even as President Donald Trump has claimed that there was a massive voting fraud.
Zuckerberg’s remarks come as Facebook has received criticism from several Biden campaign staffers who have complained about Facebook’s management of election ads and how misinformation affects democracy.
Facebook’s role in the U.S. elections
In September, Facebook announced that it will not accept any new political ads in the seven days prior to the US election on November 3.
According to Zuckerberg, he was “worried” about divisions in the country potentially leading to civil unrest. He also mentioned that the platform will also label posts from candidates attempting to declare victory prior to the final vote count.
In October, Facebook said that its apps helped 4.4 million people register to vote for the 2020 US presidential elections.
According to the company’s estimates, it helped 2 million people register in 2016 and 2018.
The increase in the numbers suggests that social media companies are reaching more potential voters. Earlier in the year, Facebook launched a voting information center to present resources about voting, such as how to register and how to vote.
According to the information center, the election results would not be accessible for days or weeks after Nov. 3. due to the coronavirus pandemic and an increased number of people voting by mail. There was also a message pinned at the top of users’ feeds with details about the election, such as voting deadlines.
This November, Facebook removed pages linked to former Trump advisor Steve Bannon due to the tricks they employ to increase their reach.
“We’ve removed several clusters of activity for using inauthentic behavior tactics to artificially boost how many people saw their content,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “That includes a Group that was originally named ‘Stop the Steal’ which later became ‘Gay Communists for Socialism’ and misled people about its purpose using deceptive tactics.”
Bannon’s spokeswoman did not give any immediate comment.
Facebook removed pages tied to Bannon after Twitter permanently suspended an account owned by him.
Facebook routinely deactivates networks of pages created to mislead social media users with disinformation. The company describes these operations as systemic inauthentic behavior, and the company announces the removal of new networks on a monthly basis. In July, the social media giant also took down a network of coordinated inauthentic behavior associated with Republican operative Roger Stone.