Despite his promise to give Congress 3,000 ads purchased by Russians on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg is downplaying the idea that they affected the US election. Facebook data shows "our broader impact—from giving people a voice to enabling candidates to communicate directly to helping millions of people vote—played a far bigger role," Zuckerberg writes in a Facebook post published Wednesday. It comes in response to President Trump's tweet claiming "Facebook was always anti-Trump" and suggesting there was some "collusion." Zuckerberg continues, "Trump says Facebook is against him. Liberals say we helped Trump. Both sides are upset about ideas and content they don't like. That's what running a platform for all ideas looks like."
Zuckerberg does say he regrets initially referring to the theory that Facebook ads altered the election outcome as "crazy." It was "dismissive," he says. But while he vows to "defend against nation states attempting to spread misinformation and subvert elections," per the BBC, Zuckerberg adds the amount spent on campaign advertising online was "1000x more than any problematic ads we've found." Last week, Trump referred to the Russian ads on Facebook as a "hoax." Referring to Wednesday's tweet, however, Tech Crunch notes that "if he can embolden critics who say Facebook leans left, the company may be less aggressive in tackling fake news and its on-going investigation into Russian interference in the election," to the president's benefit.