Facebook's Zuckerberg says company makes 'too many important decisions' about free speech

Yolanda Curtis
October 20, 2019

"People should be able to see for themselves what politicians are saying".

Facebook and Google challenged Washington's law but regulators reaffirmed it, leading Facebook to announce in late 2018 it would stop selling political ads in the state: "Starting December 28, Facebook will not accept ads that relate to Washington's state or local elected officials, candidates, elections or ballot initiatives while we look to address these new disclosure requirements".

"I usually imagine that as a precept, folks ought to determine what's credible and what they need to imagine, who they need to vote for".

The company doesn't fact-check posts from politicians, including ads, to avoid the appearance that it's taking sides.

In connection with Facebook's recent decision to update its policies for political and social issue ads ahead of 2020 elections, Mark Zuckerberg responded to criticism of his platform from another Democratic presidential candidate.

"Facebook has chosen to sell Americans' personal data to politicians looking to target them with disproven lies and conspiracy theories, crowding out the voices of working Americans", Bill Russo, the Biden campaign's deputy communications director, said in the statement.


In an email sent to Business Insider minutes after Zuckerberg's speech concluded, a Biden campaign spokesperson said Zuckerberg had "feigned concern for free expression" in an attempt to protect Facebook's business interests.

He referred to as out Bytedance Inc. unit TikTok, a rival cell social community, as a kind of companies, and mentioned TikTok has censored content material from the Hong Kong protests.

"We should be proactive and write policies that help free expression triumph around the world", he said, adding at another point in the speech, "Increasingly, we're seeing countries try to impose their speech restrictions beyond their country..." But there is no guarantee that these values will win out.

Mr. Zuckerberg used his public address Thursday to press the case for why Facebook should be seen as a force for good in the world, characterizing threats such as political polarization as things that can only be overcome by allowing more people to participate freely in online debate.

Perino went on to ask Zuckerberg about his opinion on the Silicon Valley conflict on which he said that ninety percent of the donations made by the tech companies are in favor of Democrats, and hence, he understands why people are asking him whether his opinions get a fair share or not. We can either stand up for freedom of expression, or we can decide the cost is simply too large.

Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., called out Zuckerberg for using her father's story in defending its policies.


"But what Zuckerberg *has* done is given Donald Trump free rein to lie on his platform-and then to pay Facebook gobs of money to push out their lies to American voters".

Facebook has come under fire in the USA for its inability to stop thousands of propaganda accounts, many originating in Russian Federation, ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

It also served as a preview of what is likely to come next week, when he is set to testify before Congress for the first time in more than a year to persuade lawmakers to support Facebook's efforts to create a blockchain-based global payments system.

Facebook could track comments on photographs as part of a crackdown on grooming, the company's head of safety has said.

As the fact-checker PolitiFact noted, that is not true.

Zuckerberg studied at Harvard University from 2002 to 2004, dropping out to run Facebook full-time after his project became popular off-campus. The results are often inconsistent, causing confusion. However, the company faced a major problem in his decision to stand by it.


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