Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Recode’s Kara Swisher hosted a 90-minute interview with Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg Wednesday that revealed a debate on Zuckerberg's views of what content should stay — and what should go — on the social network.

The big picture: Getting the most pushback from the interview is Zuckerberg's opinion that Facebook doesn't necessarily have the responsibility to remove false information.

Where he stands: A user's voice should not be disrupted on Facebook as long as it doesn't affect community safety, he said. When Swisher prodded him on controversial posts from InfoWars' claiming that the Holocaust was fake or the Sandy Hook shooting didn't happen, Zuckerberg agreed they were false posts, but they should be moved down a user's feed rather than removed entirely.

"As abhorrent as some of this content can be, I do think that it gets down to this principle of giving people a voice."
— Zuckerberg

Yes but: Zuckerberg cited an example when Facebook removed posts related to hate messages from monks in Myanmar. In that case, those posts would result in real harm and attacks.

"I don’t think that we should be in the business of having people at Facebook who are deciding what is true and what isn’t."

On China: Zuckerberg played into Americans’ fear of China to push back on some critics' calls to break up Facebook. If the government broke up Facebook, Zuckerberg said Chinese companies, who “do not share the values that [Facebook has], would move in to fill the void Facebook leaves open. I don’t think Chinese companies are going to wanna cooperate as much and try to aid the national interest there."

On Russian meddling: "We have no reason not to believe U.S. intelligence from Russian meddling in the 2016 election," Zuckerberg said, also citing Facebook is working to prepare for this year's elections in the U.S., Brazil and Mexico.

The bottom line: Facebook was created in a budding internet age when social media was at its purest. Zuckerberg said that the social network's inception was “overly idealistic” on the good parts of online connection. Now, Zuckerberg will continue to deal with the dark side they were unprepared for: data leaks, fake posts, election meddling, and answering to U.S. Congress and the European Union on its size and data practices.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Technology

TikTok to pull out of Hong Kong

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

TikTok said Monday night that it would pull its social video platform out of the Google and Apple app stores in Hong Kong amid a restrictive new law that went into effect last week.

Why it matters: TikTok's move comes as many large tech companies say they are still evaluating how to respond to the Hong Kong law.

4 hours ago - World

Ethiopia's Nobel Peace laureate cracks down on ethnic violence

The image of a Nobel Peace laureate in military fatigues encapsulates the moment in which Ethiopia finds itself — on the verge of a transition to democracy, a descent into violence or, perhaps, a precarious combination of the two.

Driving the news: At least 166 people were killed after an iconic musician, Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, was murdered last Monday in Addis Ababa, the capital. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed responded to the violence by sending in troops and shutting off the internet. High-profile opposition leaders were arrested, along with some 2,300 others.

Updated 5 hours ago - Health

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms tests positive for coronavirus

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said on Monday that she has tested positive for the coronavirus after displaying no symptoms.

Why it matters: Bottoms, one of several Black women on the shortlist to be Joe Biden's running mate, has risen to national prominence in recent months as part of mass protests over racism and police brutality — driven in part by the killing of Rayshard Brooks by Atlanta police.