Zuckerberg warns of "civil unrest" after election

by Joel Abbott · Sep 4th, 2020 10:45 am

Last Updated Sep 6th, 2020 at 3:02 am

In an interview with "Axios on HBO," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that "civil unrest" is likely after the 2020 election and that the platform will do everything it can not to contribute to tensions.

Referencing the anticipated reliance on mail-in voting this year, Zuckerberg told Axios that he believed it is the media's responsibility to prepare American citizens for delayed election results.

"We may not know the final result on election day," said Zuckerberg. "One of the things that we and other media need to start doing is preparing the American people that there's nothing illegitimate about this election taking additional days or even weeks to make sure all the votes are counted."

Zuckerberg went on to detail how Facebook – and presumably other services it owns, such as Instagram and WhatsApp – will take steps to inform people of election results, including adding disclaimers on posts from candidates claiming victory before there is "a consensus result."

"I think that this is important because there is unfortunately I think a heightened risk of civil unrest in the period between voting and a result being called, or after that," Zuckerberg said. "I just think we need to be doing everything we can to reduce the chances of violence or civil unrest in the wake of this election."

Axios' Mike Allen then asked the Facebook CEO if Facebook would be blamed for violence were it to occur.

"I can't speak to what other people would do, but I think we're trying to make sure that we do our part to make sure that none of this is organized on Facebook," Zuckerberg replied. "We want to make sure none of that stuff is happening on our services. But you know, the country is very charged right now, so I think regardless of what we do, there's some chance that this happens across the country. I just want to make sure we do our part to not contribute to it."

Axios' full interview with Zuckerberg will air Tuesday, September 8 at 11 p.m. EST/PST on HBO.


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