Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg spoke at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. about freedom of using this new media to give everyone every where the ability to speak his or her mind, to make friends, whereever they might be without any government getting in their way.

Free expression where a person or group of persons can express their views as long as it does not cause harm to others. Like shouting "fire" in a theater is an example where that word can cause panic among those in the theater and may cause them harm.

Of the 140,000 words in the Webster Dictionary it is amazing that people vocabulary is limited to a handful of words that are insulting, demeaning, or just spiteful against a group of people who do not pray the same way you do, or lifestyle is not like yours or are from the other side of the tracks.

Many countries have used Facebook to incite violence against its minority groups or against another faction of its citizens leading to violence. Once said violence starts it becomes very hard to stop.

Examples in the US past as well as what is going on now when one religion group attacks another or political views differ. Since Facebook has access to many countries with just as many languages trying to keep everyone writing on the same page without insulting anyone because of the language different. Where one word in one country has a different meaning in another and could be seen as offensive. Facebook will take down this type of language as fast as possible and cancelled those accounts from Facebook servers.

Mark Zuckerberg, "Take misinformation. No one tells us they want to see misinformation. That’s why we work with independent fact checkers to stop hoaxes that are going viral from spreading. But misinformation is a pretty broad category. A lot of people like satire, which isn’t necessarily true. A lot of people talk about their experiences through stories that may be exaggerated or have inaccuracies, but speak to a deeper truth in their lived experience. We need to be careful about restricting that. Even when there is a common set of facts, different media outlets tell very different stories emphasizing different angles. There’s a lot of nuance here. And while I worry about an erosion of truth, I don’t think most people want to live in a world where you can only post things that tech companies judge to be 100% true."

Mark Zuckerberg, "We’re increasingly seeing laws and regulations around the world that undermine free expression and people’s human rights. These local laws are each individually troubling, especially when they shut down speech in places where there isn’t democracy or freedom of the press. But it’s even worse when countries try to impose their speech restrictions on the rest of the world."

"This raises a larger question about the future of the global internet. China is building its own internet focused on very different values, and is now exporting their vision of the internet to other countries. Until recently, the internet in almost every country outside China has been defined by American platforms with strong free expression values. There’s no guarantee these values will win out. A decade ago, almost all of the major internet platforms were American. Today, six of the top ten are Chinese."

"We’re beginning to see this in social media. While our Facebook services, like WhatsApp, are used by protesters and activists everywhere due to strong encryption and privacy protections, on TikTok, the Chinese app growing quickly around the world, mentions of these protests are censored, even in the US."

"It’s one of the reasons we don’t operate Facebook, Instagram or our other services in China. I wanted our services in China because I believe in connecting the whole world and I thought we might help create a more open society. I worked hard to make this happen. But we could never come to agreement on what it would take for us to operate there, and they never let us in. And now we have more freedom to speak out and stand up for the values we believe in and fight for free expression around the world."

"As long as our government respect people’s right to express themselves, as long as our platforms live up to their responsibilities to support expression and prevent harm, and as long as we all commit to being open and making space for more perspectives, I think we’ll make progress. It’ll take time, but we’ll work through this moment. We overcame deep polarization after World War I, and intense political violence in the 1960s. Progress isn’t linear. Sometimes we take two steps forward and one step back. But if we can’t agree to let each other talk about the issues, we can’t take the first step. Even when it’s hard, this is how we build a shared understanding."

A full text of this speech by Mark Zuckerberg can be found on the Washington Post site. By Tony Romm --Oct 17, 2019.

november 2019