Mark Zuckerberg says he doesn't want to censor the news on Facebook because users are best-positioned to judge the credibility of content.
"What we try to do is get our community to tell us what matters to them. ... People are smart. They know what they want and what's good. And they can tell us that if we can ask them in a simple enough way and get aggregate data."
Zuckerberg has made cleaning up the site he co-founded in 2004 his personal mission for 2018 in the wake of its use by purveyors of propaganda, misinformation and click-bait scams.
On a conference call with Wall Street analysts to discuss the company's fourth-quarter earnings, the CEO gave the most detailed account yet of why the company has resisted the wholesale editing or banning of sites that spread fake stories designed to stoke anger, hate and division among Americans.
This is what Facebook does instead, according to Zuckerberg:
"We basically ask people — we don't want to assess by ourselves which sources are trustworthy. I think that's not a situation that or a position that we're comfortable with ourselves. I don't think personally that that's something that our community or our society wants us to do.