Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took a verbal stand against the mob demanding ever-increasing standards of censorship against right-of-center political opponents last Friday at the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit in Utah.
“Let’s be real here, I’m not like—communicating is not my best thing. Right?” Zuckerberg said. “I came out here, I’m planning for this, I’m excited about it and I messed up the name of our data center within 30 seconds.”
The Facebook CEO addressed the elephant in the room regarding Facebook’s policies – its stance on free speech.
Facebook has come under fire for increasingly political additions to its “Community Standards,” and is often regarded as the most censorious social media platform, or at least on par with Twitter.
“In Georgetown last year I gave this speech around our principles around free expression,” the Facebook CEO said, adding, “You know that’s just one of the areas that I really feel like is under attack right now. Increasingly we’re getting called to censor a lot of different kinds of content that makes me really uncomfortable. It kind of feels like the list of things that you’re not allowed to say socially keeps on growing. And I’m not really okay with that.”
Zuckerberg went on to say, “So we’re focusing a lot on that but at some point I just felt like, alright, we’ve got to stand up and say ‘no, we’re going to stand for free expression’ and yeah we’re going to take down the content that’s really harmful but the line needs to be held at some point.”
Zuckerberg added that when Facebook was founded in 2004, the outrage mob was nowhere near as strong as it is today: “You know, it wasn’t a thing that people were pushing back on that much.”
The Facebook’s CEO apparent defense of free speech comes at the same time as a hit piece on Zuckerberg by left-wing hedge fund manager George Soros, published in The New York Times and titled “Mark Zuckerberg Should Not Be In Control Of Facebook.”
It remains to be seen whether Zuckerberg will tweak the Facebook Community Standards to be more in line with the First Amendment.