Joe Scarborough tore into Facebook on Friday, declaring the social media company a “malignant force” that had spread misinformation across the globe and directly contributed to radicalization and real-world violence, including the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill.
The MSNBC “Morning Joe” host became more and more heated as he called the company out, declaring that Facebook has “had as big a role in destroying American democracy as any corporation over the past four years, over the past 40 years.” (See video of his comments below.)
“Facebook is a monopoly,” Scarborough said. “It controls over 50% of news gathering, and they are reckless as hell. There is no accountability. And they are destroying not just American democracy, they’re destroying democracy across the globe. They are actually working with tyrannical governments to help chase out freedom fighters in certain countries. They are a malignant force across the globe.”
Arguing that Facebook needed to be broken up a la the breakup of telephone company Bell System in 1982, Scarborough emphasized that the company’s algorithms and resistance to combating misinformation had been “spreading these lies that get the United States Capitol sacked” and “police officers bludgeoned almost to death with an American flag.”
“If you have a neighbor that thinks masks spread COVID, thank Facebook for that,” Scarborough said. “If you go into a store, and somebody’s crazy, and they’re ripping up a display for masks … thank Facebook for that. The lies are all disseminated on Facebook.”
During his tirade, Scarborough referenced similar rhetoric delivered earlier this week from Apple CEO Tim Cook, who did not specifically name any social media platforms, but stressed that in an age of online conspiracy theories, tech companies could “no longer turn a blind eye to a theory of technology that says all engagement is good engagement.”
Facebook has also been recently targeted by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who said last week during a virtual town hall that Mark Zuckerberg had long treated white supremacist radicalization with “kid gloves.”
Meanwhile, Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, has argued that the company has aggressively shut down groups like QAnon and events like the Capitol riot were “largely organized on platforms that don’t have our abilities to stop hate, don’t have our standards and don’t have our transparency.”
Watch Scarborough’s comments below:
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