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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg: We'll block interference in European elections

What happened in the US won't happen in Europe, the CEO tells EU leaders.

Mark Zuckerberg in suit and tie talks, sitting in front of a blue banner with multi-lingual messaging on it. In the foreground, a heart, angry face, and "like" symbol float in front of the Facebook livestream of the event.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responds to questions from EU officials at a hearing that was livestreamed on Facebook. 


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told a group of EU officials Tuesday that the social network is working to prevent a repeat of the alleged Russian campaign to interfere with the US presidential election in 2016.

"A lot of important elections are coming up," Zuckerberg said to a roomful of members of the European Parliament. "This is one of our top priorities as a company, that we prevent anyone from being able to interfere in elections like the Russians did in the US elections."

Election interference in the US involved the creation of fake Facebook accounts and pages, which spread divisive content and false news stories, in addition to organizing real-life events in the United States.

Zuckerberg's comments are part of the about-face he's done since shortly after the 2016 US election, when he said it was a "pretty crazy idea" that fake news may have swayed the election. The remark drew widespread criticism that Facebook wasn't take the situation seriously enough. During a conference call with reporters last week, Zuckerberg said the comment was a mistake. 

"What is clear at this point is that it was too flippant," he said. 

Facebook has been ramping up its efforts to flag false news and put it in context for users as the 2018 midterm elections in the US approach. Facebook said last week it will begin fact-checking videos and photos -- not just links to written articles. Right now, Facebook is working with the Agence France-Presse to launch the effort in France, but will expand it further soon.

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