Facebook shouldn't become 'arbiters of truth' -Zuckerberg

"Congressman, well first to be clear, I think what you might be referring to happened on Twitter so it's hard for me to speak to that, but I can talk to our policies about this," Zuckerberg said. Later adding, "we do not want to become the arbiters of truth."

Twitter Inc said on Tuesday it had restricted Donald Trump Jr.'s ability to tweet from his account for 12 hours, after it required him to delete a post that violated the social media site's policy on coronavirus misinformation.

The eldest son of U.S. President Donald Trump posted a since-deleted tweet on Monday with a viral video of doctors talking about the drug hydroxychloroquine.

A much-anticipated congressional hearing featuring the CEOs of four of America's largest tech firms kicked off on Wednesday with lawmakers locking horns while also offering a window into their ideas about reining in Big Tech.

Facebook Inc's Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon.com Inc's Jeff Bezos, Alphabet Inc-owned Google's Sundar Pichai and Apple Inc's Tim Cook - whose companies together represent about $5 trillion of market value - appeared via videoconference before the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel.

Video Transcript

- It was reported that Donald Trump Jr. got taken down for a period of time, because he put something up the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine. Now, I wouldn't take it myself. But there still is a debate on whether it is effective either in treating or preventing COVID-19.

And I think that this is a legitimate matter of discussion, and it would be up to a patient and their doctor to determine whether hydroxychloroquine was the correct medication given the circumstances. Why did that happen?

MARK ZUCKERBERG: Congressman, well, first, to be clear, I think what you might be referring to happened done on Twitter. So it's hard for me to speak to that. But I can talk to our policies about this.

We do prohibit content that will lead to imminent risk of harm. And stating that there is a proven cure for COVID when there is in fact none might encourage someone to go take something that could have some adverse effects. So we do take that down.

We do not prohibit discussion around trials of drugs or people saying that they think that things might work or personal experiences with experimental drugs. But if someone is going to say that something is proven when in fact it is not, that could lead people to make a--

- Wouldn't that be up for somebody on the other side of the issue to say that this is not proven? And you know, I know as a fact that, you know, for people with certain conditions, it's contraindicated and they shouldn't take it. But wouldn't that be up to somebody else, you know, to say, OK, what somebody posted this really isn't true, and here's what the facts are, rather than having a Twitter or a Facebook take it down?

MARK ZUCKERBERG: Congressmen, in general I agree with you. And we do not want to become the arbiters of truth. I think that would be a bad position for us to be in, and not what we should be doing.

But on specific claims, if someone is going to go out and say that hydroxychloroquine is proven to cure COVID when in fact it has not been proven to cure COVID, and that that statement could lead people to take a drug that, in some cases, some of the data suggests that it might be harmful to people, we think that we should take that down. That could cause imminent risk of harm.

- OK, thank you. I yield back.