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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Should 'Pay Price' For Damaging Democracy, Hillary Clinton Says

Hillary Clinton of Chappaqua. Photo Credit: Screengrab
Mark Zuckerberg Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, user Presidência do México

Chappaqua resident Hillary Clinton is targeting Westchester native Mark Zuckerberg, saying he should “pay a price” for his company’s role in damaging democracy stateside and throughout the world.

The former Secretary of State, First Lady and US Senator from New York, speaking at a screening of the Netflix documentary, “The Great Hack” spoke about the role Facebook and its data sharing with Cambridge Analytica helped spread misinformation to undermine her during her run at the Oval Office in 2016.

Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook - a White Plains native who grew up in Dobbs Ferry who attended Ardsley High School - has come under fire for data sharing that reportedly had an impact on the controversial 2016 election, which Clinton lost to President Donald Trump.

Clinton - who is reportedly considering a second run in 2020 - said that it is likely to happen again in the next presidential election cycle.

“We are getting warning signals all the time about what is happening right now and how it is likely to affect our next election,” she said at the screening.

Facebook announced that it will not fact check political advertisements that will run on the social media giant, drawing the ire of many.

“You announced recently that the official policy of Facebook now allows politicians to pay to spread disinformation in 2020 elections and in the future. So I just want to know how far I can push this in the next year,” US Rep. and Yorktown High School graduate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said at a recent hearing questioning the company’s fact-checking system.

“Would I be able to run advertisements on Facebook targeting Republicans in primaries saying they voted for the Green New Deal?" Ocasio-Cortez asked during the hearing. "I mean, if you're not fact-checking political advertisements, I'm just trying to understand the bounds here.”

Clinton added, “when Facebook is the principal news source for more than half of the American people, and the only source of news that most of them pay any attention to, and if it announces that it has no responsibility for the airing of false ads, how are you supposed to get accurate information about anything, let alone candidates running for office?”

The former - and potentially future - presidential candidate said she could already foresee Facebook’s negative impact on upcoming elections “because propaganda works,” and she predicted that by allowing misinformation to continue to spread on its platform its effects are “only going to be more powerful going forward because it is more well tested. They know what they were successful at.”

Zuckerberg has said the company has expanded its ad review team since the 2016 election in an attempt to thwart any new misinformation campaigns. Facebook has removed thousands of accounts engaged in “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” with the banned accounts coming from Russia, Iran, and other foreign countries that allegedly impacted the 2016 election.

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