Speaking at Georgetown University, Mark Zuckerberg defended the freedom of expression but didn’t even mention Facebook’s Libra.
The CEO and founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, on Thursday, defended free expression while giving a speech at Georgetown University. He concurred that the internet had changed a lot of things, which includes letting people be themselves in ways that would have been impossible some 60 years ago.
However, this freedom of expression is seen as dangerous by certain people, especially those in the political sphere who believe that the more people have a voice, the more detrimental it is to their political ambitions.
Speech Restrictions Are Inevitable
In the US, a level of speech restriction has always existed, and though Zuckerberg admits it, he also suggested that they are made as few as possible. Also, he was careful not to mention his Libra project and didn’t take a radical stand on the subject either.
When speech indeed gets dangerous, Zuckerberg is all for its restriction. In fact, he said his company had devised a way to curtail such, and that is by using robust identity verification systems.
“The solution here is to verify the identities of anyone who’s getting a wide amount of distribution and to get a lot better at identifying and taking down fake accounts. We now require you to provide a government ID and prove your location if you want to run political ads,” noted he.
No More Hide and Seek
Everyone who has an opinion should have the right to air it, but Zuckerberg insists that it should not be done behind a fake account. He said:
“You can still say controversial things if you want, but you have to stand behind them with your real identity.” So, by using machine learning and a host of other strategies, millions of fake accounts are shutdown on the Facebook platform every year.
Zuckerberg compared the First Amendment of the US Constitution to the position of other countries on speech and concluded that there exists so much difference, especially in China.
The Chinese Influence
The social values of the Chinese people are now evident in and influencing some of the actions of certain American companies. Zuckerberg questioned if the internet should be structured this way, whereby censorship is the order of the day, and the voices of activists and protesters are snuffed out.
He mentioned how safe Whatsapp, a service offered by Facebook, is for demonstrators compared to TikTok, a fast-growing Chinese app, which disallows protests by censoring them and not only in China but also in the US.
Zuckerberg subtly bragged about how Facebook refused to succumb to Chinese censors and is better for it today.
“Now, we have more freedom to speak out and stand up for the values that we believe in and fight for free expression around the world,” concluded he.