Zuckerberg: If someone gets fired for data abuse 'it should be me'

In a Recode interview, Facebook's CEO takes blame for Cambridge Analytica debacle, but stops short of actually firing himself.

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Marrian Zhou is a Beijing-born Californian living in New York City. She joined CNET as a staff reporter upon graduation from Columbia Journalism School. When Marrian is not reporting, she is probably binge watching, playing saxophone or eating hot pot.
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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Testifies At Joint Senate Commerce/Judiciary Hearing

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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Mark Zuckerberg isn't planning to fire himself. At least, not at the moment.

During an interview with Recode's Kara Swisher published Wednesday, the Facebook CEO touched on Russians interfering with US elections, misinformation, data breaches, the company's business model and more.

When asked by Swisher who's to blame for the Cambridge Analytica scandal and related data misuse, Zuckerberg said he "designed the platform, so if someone's going to get fired for this, it should be me." Swisher followed up by asking if he was going to fire himself. "Not on this podcast right now," he said.

Zuckerberg also touched on evidence that the Russian government used social media to interfere with the 2016 US presidential election. He said Facebook identified Russian hacking group APT28 trying traditional methods like "phishing people's accounts" in the middle of 2015 and notified the FBI. The company was slower to identify groups that set up "a network of fake accounts in order to spread divisive information," Zuckerberg also added.

He also sparked outrage across the internet with a comment during the interview regarding Holocaust deniers. "I don't think that they're intentionally getting it wrong," said Zuckerberg. He clarified his remarks in a follow-up statement later Wednesday, saying that he "personally find Holocaust denial deeply offensive, and [he] absolutely didn't intend to defend the intent of people who deny that."

The interview follows a hearing Tuesday in which Facebook, Google and Twitter offered Congress apologies but said misinformation on social media isn't entirely their fault. Facebook has dealt with several scandals this year, including the Cambridge Analytica controversy, and has been criticized for how it's handling fake news and misinformation on the site.

Facebook didn't immediately respond to a request for comments.

You can listen to the entire interview with Zuckerberg on the Recode Decode podcast.

First published on July 18, 11:17 a.m. PT.
Update, July 19 at 5:53 a.m. PT: Adds Zuckerberg's comment on Holocaust deniers and his response to backlash.