Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday acknowledged to employees that Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States, a spokesman for the company confirmed to CNBC.
“I believe the outcome of the election is now clear and Joe Biden is going to be our next president,” Zuckerberg said at a companywide meeting, according to BuzzFeed News. “It’s important that people have confidence that the election was fundamentally fair, and that goes for the tens of millions of people that voted for Trump.”
Zuckerberg’s comments are his first recognizing the incoming Biden administration, even as President Trump has claimed, without presenting any evidence, that there was widespread voting fraud.
The comments come as Facebook has become the subject of criticism from several Biden campaign staffers who have complained about Facebook’s handling of election ads and the impact misinformation has had on democracy.
Despite those criticisms, employees at Facebook told CNBC that the feeling inside the company is mostly relieved as the company got through the 2020 U.S. election without any claims of foreign interference or rampant misinformation. Whereas in 2016 Facebook was blamed for the outcomes of the election, this time around, Facebook provided users with authoritative information about the U.S. election, posting notifications to users at the top of their Facebook and Instagram apps.
In his comments to employees, Zuckerberg also noted that former Trump advisor Steve Bannon has not violated enough of Facebook’s policies to be suspended by the company, according to a Reuters report on Thursday. Facebook also confirmed these remarks.
Bannon recently implied that FBI Director Christopher Wray and leading government infectious-diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci should be beheaded and have their heads put on pikes outside the White House.
Facebook, however, on Monday removed a network of pages tied to Bannon for using tricks to increase their reach.