Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and chief executive, defended the platform’s principle of free expression at the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit in Utah, arguing that the company is now set to change its previous approach of not doing anything deemed “too offensive” amid increased censorship calls, CNN reported.
“Increasingly we're getting called to censor a lot of different kinds of content that makes me really uncomfortable”, the platform’s CEO was quoted as saying.
“This is the new approach, and I think it's going to p**s off a lot of people. But frankly, the old approach was p**sing off a lot of people too, so let's try something different”, Zuckerberg insisted.
Despite the proposed change of direction, Facebook’s founder insisted that the company still has a responsibility to remove content related to child exploitation, violence, or terrorism from its platform.
“We're going to take down the content that's really harmful, but the line needs to be held at some point”, Zuckerberg reportedly stated. He also defended the use of encryption in Facebook messaging services that potentially prevents third parties from accessing communications sent between users.
Facebook’s leadership has come under increased scrutiny over the past year following its refusal to remove political ads that may contain misinformation, citing its policy of free speech and the right of users to make up their own minds about the agendas of politicians. Zuckerberg’s new approach prompted strong backlash from former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who called his stance “authoritarian” and aimed at helping her 2016 presidential rival Donald Trump get re-elected by refusing to tackle alleged misinformation and propaganda.
The accusations have not been directly addressed by Zuckerberg, but he recently insisted that his company’s goal for the next decade is not “to be liked, but to be understood”.