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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

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

British national named in Colleyville synagogue standoff

A law enforcement vehicle sits near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on Jan. 16. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

British national Malik Faisal Akram took four people hostage at a Texas synagogue outside Fort Worth on Saturday, the FBI said in a statement.

State of play: Authorities had initially declined to release the name of the 44-year-old suspect or identify the hostages, all adults, though police chief Michael Miller confirmed that one of those held was Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who leads the congregation.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron — WHO recommends 2 new treatments — What "mild" really means when it comes to Omicron — Deaths are climbing as cases skyrocket.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas— Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements— Supreme Court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for large employers.
  3. Politics: Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health" — Focus group says Biden weak on COVID response, strong on democracy
  4. Economy: America's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic— — CDC COVID guidance for cruise ships to be optional starting Saturday — The cost of testing.
  5. States: West Virginia governor feeling "extremely unwell" after positive test — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers — America struggles to keep schools open
  6. World: Beijing reports first local Omicron case weeks before Winter Olympics — Teachers in France stage mass walkout over COVID protocols.
  7. Variant tracker
7 hours ago - Sports

Novak Djokovic loses Australian visa appeal

Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a forehand during a practice session ahead of the 2022 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 14, 2022. Photo: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

Tennis star Novak Djokovic left Australia on Sunday evening, facing a three-year visa ban after an appeals court in the country revoked his visa.

Driving the news: Djokovic will not be able to defend his Australian Open title when the tournament starts in Melbourne. The World No. 1 is looking to break a three-way tie with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for most Grand Slam men's singles titles.