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

The bottom-up revolution hits Facebook

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Coca-Cola, Unilever and Hershey said Friday that they're cutting back on social-media-advertising, adding seismic voices to a growing boycott of Facebook.

Why it matters: This is a vivid example of a trend spotted last year by Axios CEO Jim VandeHei, and amplified by the new American realities brought on by the virus and protests: CEOs are the new politicians. They're helping do what President Trump and Congress would not.

Updated Jun 23, 2020 - Technology

Twitter flags Trump tweet for violating rules on abusive behavior

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Twitter on Monday opted not to take down or flag a tweet from President Trump that baselessly tied mail-in ballots to voter fraud and foreign election interference. On Tuesday, meanwhile, the platform flagged a Trump tweet threatening "serious force" against protesters seeking to set up an "autonomous zone" in Washington for violating its rules on abusive behavior.

The big picture: President Trump continues to test tech platforms' willingness to crack down on abuse and misinformation he spreads on his social media accounts, a dynamic that will likely intensify as the election approaches and he seeks to raise doubts about potentially unfavorable outcomes.

Coca-Cola halts all paid social media advertising for 30 days

Coca-Cola logo in Midtown Manhattan. Photo: Alex Tai/Sopa Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Coca-Cola is pulling all paid social media advertisements for 30 days, saying "there is no place for racism on social media," CEO James Quincey said in a statement on Friday.

Why it matters: Although Coca-Cola does not single out Facebook in its announcement, the company's decision to temporarily pull ads comes as Hershey's, Verizon, Unilever and other brands have joined a boycott of the social network over its content moderation policies.