Zuckerberg says Facebook is 'not a traditional media company'

The CEO appears to be trying to arrive at a new definition for the role his company plays in the tech and media industries.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg with COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg is still trying to explain what his company does.

The Facebook CEO said in August that the social-networking giant had no ambitions of being a content provider, insisting that Facebook is "a tech company, not a media company." On Wednesday, he appeared to retreat a bit on that statement, painting a slightly different portrait of his company during a Live video chat with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

"Facebook is a new kind of platform," Zuckerberg said during the video chat. "It's not a traditional technology company. It's not a traditional media company. You know, we build technology and we feel responsible for how it's used. We don't write the news that people read on the platform, but at the same time we also know that we do a lot more than just distribute the news, and we're an important part of the public discourse."

His comments come amid increased criticism that Facebook's news feed algorithms -- the software that picks the first posts you see -- sometimes fan the flames of "fake news" and allow misinformation to thrive. Numerous allegations have been made that fake news shared on Facebook helped Trump win -- a suggestion Zuckerberg initially called "a pretty crazy idea."

Despite that initial impression, Facebook said last week it is ramping up its efforts to stem the flow of hoaxes. The company aims to make it easier to report possible hoaxes, add warnings before you share a disputed article and downplay questionable stories in your news feed.

"Reflecting on 2016, this is just something that I'm proud that people in this company take so seriously," Zuckerberg said of fake news.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.

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