At a dinner last week in Davos, Switzerland, I was asked if I thought Facebook was behaving more responsibly today than it did during the 2016 presidential election.
“Not at all,” I answered. “Facebook helped Trump to get elected and I am afraid that it will do the same in 2020.” I explained that there is a longstanding law — Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — that protects social media platforms from legal liability for defamation and similar claims. Facebook can post deliberately misleading or false statements by candidates for public office and others, and take no responsibility for them.
I went on to say that there appears to be “an informal mutual assistance operation or agreement developing between Trump and Facebook” in which Facebook will help President Trump to get re-elected and Mr. Trump will, in turn, defend Facebook against attacks from regulators and the media.
“This is just plain wrong,” a Facebook spokesman told Business Insider.
I disagree. I believe that Mr. Trump and Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, realize that their interests are aligned — the president’s in winning elections, Mr. Zuckerberg’s in making money.