Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told a group of students on Monday night that his company will not become a media company even though a large number of people get their news from Facebook on a daily basis.
“No, we are a tech company, not a media company,” Zuckerberg said when asked if he intended for Facebook to become a news source while speaking at Rome’s Luiss university. Top journalists, including CNN’s Brian Stelter, were quick to disagree.
Zuckerberg insisted during his presentation that Facebook was “a technology company,” adding, “we build the tools, we do not produce any content.”
“The world needs news companies, but also technology platforms, like what we do, and we take our role in this very seriously,” he continued.
Facebook’s news judgment has been a hot topic since it was accused of having a liberal agenda earlier this summer. Last week, Facebook fired its entire Trending Topics team and replaced them with computers.
According to Quartz, the entire editorial team of 15-18 people contracted through a third party were let go on Friday and given an hour to vacate the premises. The Trending sidebar will now be populated by an algorithm that determines what Facebook users are talking about.
Back in May, reports accused the Trending section of liberal partisanship, a claim Zuckerberg denied following an internal review that found “no political bias” and a meeting with prominent Conservative leaders. Shortly thereafter, the company announced a new set of rules and guidelines for the Trending team.
See more of the debate amongst journalists below.