President Obama Tried to Warn Mark Zuckerberg About the Massive Threat of Election Hacking on Facebook

September 25, 2017, 9:30 AM UTC

Then-president Barack Obama tried to warn Mark Zuckerberg about the risk of fake news on Facebook last year.

According to the Washington Post, Obama pulled Zuckerberg aside beseeching the tech billionaire to take the threat seriously just days after Zuckerberg called the possibility of fake news affecting the election a “crazy idea.” He made a second appeal on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in November last year.

Read: Facebook’s Privacy Hokey-Pokey

But while Facebook eventually acknowledged that fake news and disinformation did in fact pose a threat, Zuckerberg reportedly told Obama that there was no easy fix and claimed the messages were not widespread on Facebook.

In the months since, revelations around Russia’s election hacking have increased. Until last week, Facebook has maintained that it responded appropriately to the situation and has “come forward at every opportunity to share what we’ve found.” Last Thursday, however, Zuckerberg admitted in a Facebook live video that Facebook had in fact been manipulated and that the site would take a more proactive role to ensure election integrity moving forward.

Read: Trump Questions Facebook’s Decision to Turn Over 3,000 Ads to the Committee Investigating Russian Interference

Facebook announced plans to turn over more than 3,000 advertisements with potential ties to Russian interference to investigators. The site will also continue investigating what happened during the 2016 presidential election.

President Trump offered his own opinion on the ongoing investigation on Twitter, saying that “The Russia hoax continues, now it’s ads on Facebook. What about the totally biased and dishonest Media coverage in favor of Crooked Hillary?”

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