One thing we’ve learned is that eventually the left will eat their own. Unfortunately, for Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, it appears his time has come.
In case you missed it, Zuckerberg gave a speech at Georgetown University in which he voiced his support for free speech and free expression on his platform.
The topic of the talk is interesting for many reasons. For one, a lot of Americans believe that big tech companies are working to silence conservative views. Zuckerberg said during an interview that it’s not secret Silicon Valley is largely left-wing.
“California is an overwhelmingly left-leaning place,” he told Fox News in an exclusive interview. “If you look at the political donations from the tech companies, it’s 90-plus percent of them go towards Democratic candidates, so I understand why people would ask the question of ‘are my ideas getting a fair shake.’ And all that I can say on this is this is something I care deeply about. I want to make sure we can be a platform for all ideas.”
That’s all fine and dandy, but that’s not what has people up in arms. No, people are upset that Zuckerberg continues to allow speech that others disagree with.
The motto is “if you don’t like it, don’t look at it”, and that applies to social media. Unfortunately, those on the left live in a world of “if I don’t like it, nobody should get to see it,” when it comes to content online.
Zuck’s speech (I’m calling him Zuck the rest of the way) is making waves because he said something that isn’t even bold. He said that Facebook shouldn’t censor candidates, and should promote free speech.
Wired had this take on the speech itself:
Zuckerberg’s highly promoted speech introduced no new Facebook features or initiatives, but was a defiant reply to critics of Facebook’s destructive effects on global society—manipulating voters, fomenting division, and even aiding genocide. He doubled down on Facebook’s handling of the treacherous business of implementing free expression at an unprecedented global scale. Despite considerable evidence that the approach has often fallen short, Zuckerberg still professes optimism: Giving people a voice and connecting the world, he believes, are transformationally positive actions. Essentially, he’s saying—as he always has—that Facebook is essentially positive.
So, essentially, people are upset that Facebook allows people to post, for the most part, whatever they want. These critics believe Facebook should be responsible for what shows up on everyone’s feed. They want Facebook to censor those they disagree with.
“You can’t impose tolerance from the top down.”
Zuck went on to discuss the culture of our society, saying that tolerance can’t be forced on people. He dared to “believe in people”, claiming that folks should be able to decide for themselves what they like and dislike.
Claiming that the platform is being used by groups promoting violence, activists have come out against Zuckerberg’s speech.
Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., had this to say:
“I heard #MarkZuckerberg’s ‘free expression’ speech, in which he referenced my father. I’d like to help Facebook better understand the challenges #MLK faced from disinformation campaigns launched by politicians. These campaigns created an atmosphere for his assassination.”
Alicia Garza, one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement, also voiced her criticisms of the contents of the speech, and Zuckerberg’s decision to not censor people:
“If #BlackLivesMatter to Mark Zuckerberg, then he should ensure that Black users are not targeted with misinformation, harassment and censorship on his platform and stop cozying up to anti-Black forces. Until then, his company will be remembered as an enabler of white supremacy.
It really lacks integrity for Mark Zuckerberg to even invoke @Blklivesmatter in this kind of insidious way. Not interested in being your mule. You’re being deceptive + it needs to stop.”
Now, obviously there’s no mention of these “anti-black forces”, because Zuckerberg isn’t cozying up to white supremacists. Mostly because, um, well, he’s Jewish… and white supremacists/Nazis and Jews don’t exactly have a history of getting along.
The ignorance of the statement aside, it’s clear that these activists want censorship.
“The fact that Zuckerberg would even invoke civil rights icons in remarks that justify his decision to exempt politicians’ speech from Facebook’s Community Standards underscores his willful refusal to accept how voter suppression has played out, from Jim Crow to now,” Vanita Gupta, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said in a statement. “He is in denial and so is his company.”
So now Facebook allowing people to post whatever they want equates to Jim Crow and voter suppression… That’s a stretch that even the most limber of gymnasts shouldn’t attempt.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg participates in a conversation on free expression at an event hosted by Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy and its Institute of Politics and Public Service.
During an interview, Zuck doubled down on his views. When asked about his opinion on Kamala Harris’ calls for banning the president from Social Media, he had this to say:
“I generally believe that as a principle, people should decide what is credible and what they want to believe, who they want to vote for. And I don’t think that should be something that we want tech companies or any kind of company doing.”
Should Facebook, and other tech companies, play a bigger role in censoring views that others find harmful?
UPDATE: Since publication, we had a page taken down with no reason given… So, the company is definitely still censoring people…