In a rare, lengthy interview, Mark Zuckerberg spoke with controversial comedian and podcast host Joe Rogan about Meta’s plans to release a new virtual reality headset, his newfound love for jiu-jitsu, and the decision to company to limit the scope of an article on Hunter. Biden who came out in the final weeks leading up to the 2020 election.
In the three-hour chat with “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, Zuckerberg detailed his company’s plans to release a new virtual reality headset in October. Zuckerberg said the upcoming headset will have “some great features” including eye and face tracking so people’s VR avatars can accurately mimic their facial expressions and users can feel like their avatar is watching. directly another person’s avatar in social VR apps.
The company’s most recent VR headset, Quest 2, was released in October 2020. The release of the interview with Rogan comes a week after Zuckerberg was widely criticized online for the simplicity of his avatar in Horizon Worlds, which is Meta’s flagship social VR app. (Zuckerberg later admitted that the image he shared was “pretty basic.”)
In his chat with Rogan, Zuckerberg teased more about the new headset that will be revealed at Connect, which is Meta’s annual VR developer conference. The company has yet to announce a date for the conference this year, but it’s usually in the fall; last year, it was streamed online on October 28.
Zuckerberg does not sit for many traditional press interviews. Rogan’s podcast, while popular, has also been criticized for the host’s inaccurate claims about Covid-19 and vaccines.
In addition to discussing VR, Zuckerberg was also pressed on some of the company’s content moderation decisions. In an exchange, nearly two hours into the chat, Zuckerberg discussed his company’s decision to reduce circulation of a New York Post article published in October 2020 that made allegations about Hunter Biden.
Zuckerberg said distribution of the article was curtailed for several days while it was reviewed by the company’s fact-checking partners. “For the, I think it was five or seven days, when it was basically figured out if it was fake, distribution on Facebook was reduced, but people were still allowed to share it,” he said in the post. interview.
The reduced circulation of the article was publicly discussed at the time of its publication. In October 2020, Meta spokesperson Andy Stone tweeted “While I intentionally do not link to the New York Post, I want to be clear that this story is eligible to be verified by Facebook’s third-party fact-checking partners. In the meantime, we are reducing its distribution on our platform.
When pressed by Rogan to find out what this means for the cast, Zuckerberg added: “Basically the leaderboard and the newsfeed were a bit less, so fewer people saw it than they wouldn’t have done it otherwise.” Zuckerberg said he didn’t know by what percentage “off the top of my head,” but said it was “significant.”
Zuckerberg said the decision to act on the story came after broader warnings from the FBI to be “vigilant” given Russian propaganda during the 2016 election.
“We just thought, hey, look, if the FBI, which I still consider a legitimate institution in this country, is very professional law enforcement, if they come to us and tell us we have to be on our guards about something so I’m going to take it seriously, ”he said.
Facebook and Twitter each took steps to limit the spread of the story on their platforms at the time. Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey later said his company made the “wrong” decision on the matter.
After fact checkers looked into the matter, Zuckerberg said no one was in a position to ultimately say the story was false. The situation “sucks,” he said, “in the same way that probably having to go through a criminal trial, but being cleared at the end sucks.”
He added: “I think the process was quite reasonable. You know, we always let people share it, but obviously you don’t want situations like that.
Thursday night, after Zuckerberg’s interview with Rogan circulated on social media, Meta verified communication account on Twitter responded to tweets related to Zuckerberg’s discussion of the Hunter Biden story. “Mark testified before the Senate nearly two years ago that in the run-up to the 2020 election, the FBI warned of the threat of hacking and overseas leak operations,” tweeted the account.
In the conversation, Zuckerberg also touched on algorithms and content moderation, as well as lighter topics like his morning routine and his family’s love of jiu-jitsu. According to Zuckerberg, jiu-jitsu is “a big part of who I am”.