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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg argued on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Thursday that social media platforms should not police political speech, and that "people should be able to see what politicians say.”

Why it matters: Zuckerberg was responding to Twitter's decision this week to fact-check a pair of President Trump's tweets that claimed that mail-in ballots are "substantially fraudulent." Twitter's label, which directs users to "get the facts" about mail-in voting, does not censor Trump's tweets.

  • Trump fired back that the network was stifling free speech, and threatened on Wednesday to shut down or regulate social media platforms due to alleged anti-conservative bias.
  • The White House later said Trump will sign an executive order concerning social media platforms on Thursday, but the full details have not yet been revealed.

What they're saying: In an upcoming interview on Fox News' "The Daily Briefing," Zuckerberg said that private companies probably shouldn't be "the arbiter of truth," and that social media platforms especially "shouldn’t be in the position of doing that."

  • He added, however, that he doesn't think regulations on social media would be the right approach.
  • "I have to understand what they actually would intend to do," Zuckerberg said. "But in general, I think a government choosing to censor a platform because they're worried about censorship doesn't exactly strike me as the right reflex there."

The big picture: Facebook does not have a fact-checking policy like Twitter's, but still uses independent fact-checkers to “really catch the worst of the worst stuff,” Zuckerberg told CNBC.

  • “The point of that program isn’t to try to parse words on is something slightly true or false. In terms of political speech, again, I think you want to give broad deference to the political process and political speech," he said.
  • Facebook's community guidelines ban anyone, including politicians, from using the platform to cause violence or harm themselves, or to post misinformation that could lead to voter suppression.

Of note: Despite Zuckerberg's reticence to fact-check political speech on the platform, Facebook does fact-check medical misinformation related to COVID-19.

Go deeper: Trump has turned Big Tech's speech rules into a political football

Go deeper

Sep 3, 2020 - Technology

Facebook says it will remove videos of Trump saying to vote twice

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook, citing its policies against voter fraud, will take down a video of President Trump suggesting people vote twice in North Carolina if it's being shared approvingly, the company said Thursday.

Yes, but: It hasn't taken down any instances of the video yet. Facebook said people are fine to post it if they include context around Trump's comments.

Sep 3, 2020 - Technology

Facebook will ban new political ads a week before Election Day

Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Facebook said Thursday that it will no longer accept new political ads for the week leading up to Election Day. It will also label posts from candidates who claim victory prematurely and will direct users to the official results.

Why it matters: It's the most aggressive effort Facebook has made to date to curb manipulation in the days leading up to the U.S. election.

Russia likely to keep amplifying criticism of mail-in voting, DHS says

Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf testifies to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on August 6. Photo: Alex Wong/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security's intelligence branch warned law enforcement Thursday that it believes Russian-controlled social media trolls and state media are likely to continue trying to sow distrust in U.S. election results and mail-in ballots, ABC News first reported.

Why it matters: Americans are expected to vote by mail in record numbers in November's election due to the coronavirus pandemic, which means it may be days or weeks after election day before it's clear who won the presidency and down-ballot races.