If Mark Zuckerberg really does run for president, count on The Washington Post to cover him closely and critically.A start came Thursday when media columnist Margaret Sullivan shredded the Facebook founder for saying in November: “Personally I think the idea that fake news on Facebook . . . influenced the election in any way — I think is a pretty crazy idea.”
Now that the Post has reported on a Russian “troll farm” targeting American voters with “divisive social and political messages” that favored Donald Trump, Zuckerberg is himself being targeted.
“Facebook … has never acknowledged the glaringly obvious — that it is essentially a media company, where many of its 2 billion active monthly users get the majority of their news and information,” Sullivan wrote Thursday. “As I’ve been pointing out here for more than a year, it constantly makes editorial decisions, but never owns them.
“When its information is false, when it is purchased and manipulated to affect the outcome of an election, the effect is enormous. When the information purveyors are associated with a foreign adversary — with a clear interest in the outcome of the American election — we’re into a whole new realm of power.”
She concluded: “Would Donald Trump be president today if Facebook didn’t exist? Although there is a long list of reasons for his win, there’s increasing reason to believe the answer is no.”
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