, 38 tweets, 6 min read
Live tweeting this Mark Zuckerberg @Georgetown event on free speech since a student journalist just told me they are not allowed to ask questions. Plus they apparently collected q’s from students & are picking them rather than Mark getting unfiltered ones. So, sort of free speech
I told student to stand up and ask one anyway! Hope he will. Btw, I am an alum of the @georgetownsfs and was a pain in the ass then too.
Btw no indication mark decided this
No tie! Short tribute to the late @RepCummings
Mark goes back to his short time @Harvard about getting people to jaw online. Lesson: The bigger stories are from individuals having more of a voice. A voice and inclusion are key to him. Irony is not dead!
Giving marginalized people a voice and giving malevolent players tools to manipulate a sloppy platform controlled by a handful of rich people in Silicon Valley is different. But Mark sees the voices speaking as key. We agree on that, but diverge on how.
Mark: Most progress happens in our lives. It’s the church group, the Air Force moms. This is one of Facebook’s greatest hits. Check! No more gatekeepers. Check! Amazing expansion of voice! Check!
Essentially Mark is wrapping himself in the First Amendment, but not in a fresh new way. One interesting thing is to talk about social tension and pulling back on free expression.
Long journey toward social progress is free expression. He does leave out a lot of complexity and students did not cheer at that line. Interesting. A very quiet crowd.
Onto dangerous speech online! Mark thinks Internet is like previous media like radio. How different: More.
He is saying that Facebook does try to stop dangerous info. They don’t as well as they need to. Mark says that it is more important to have verifiable identity than try to police the content piece by piece.
Focusing on “authenticity” than an “ever expanding version” of what is good content or not.
Now to polarization. He is trying to push back the idea that Facebook creates filter bubbles.
This is a real opportunity for Mark to be fresh and challenging and it’s more greatest hits/excuses. He still does not seem to get his big, big responsibility. “I don’t think it right” that tech platforms make decisions on free speech, he says.
“People should decide what is credible not tech companies.” Mark says he thought about banning political ads. But wants to “err on the side of greater expression.”
Now about how hard it is to decide what is hate speech. It’s HARD people.
“We need to make sure we are empowering people” — the problem with this speech is that Mark is presenting a very binary choice when it is so complex.
Getting hot 🥵 with voice rising when he deals the China card!
China is really not the bar here nor the problem.
Talking about a Supreme Court of Content at FB. I wrote about it today in @nytopinion: nytimes.com/2019/10/17/opi…
“You can’t impose tolerance top down,” is first great line of this speech.
“I think we are going to work through this moment,” says Mark. “Part of this is getting our issues out on the table.”
Also issues of Russian trolls! We want to hear from Putin!
“Whether you like Facebook or not, I think we need to come together and stand for voice and free expression,” he concludes. Is it a binary choice? Oh man, opportunity missed but I do give Mark props for trying so hard and so earnestly. But he needs to be a better thinker.
Onto Q&A! Moderated Q&A since none can address WHAT HE JUST SAID
First student questions of a group on the role and responsibilities of Facebook to violence and genocide.
Mark is doing a lot of word salad rather than give a really sharp answer to a complex question. Let me boil it down: They cannot control it really except for shutting it down. Taking so long in Myanmar was a “mistake.” Yeah, a mistake.
China question: What would it take to move into the market. He wanted to be there, but never were able to come to an agreement. Censorship obvi, but data localization and demands for government access to consumer data seems to be a bigger issue for him. Yeah, that.
Mark has gotten better with Q&A though this is not a hard interviewer or a tough stage. Still, it’s good for these students to see him up close.
Here is a photo of the Q&A
Ok maybe I shouldn’t have eaten oatmeal before this, but this is like Sominex now given the gravity of these issues. How I wish students could ask these questions since there would be emotional. THIS IS EMOTIONAL.
Next question is on extremism versus free speech. He would “push back” on the characterization that minimizing some speech might be good.
Mark: “You are basically weighing the clear harm against what is the potential harm if you did not supress that speech.”
Oh the anti-conservative bias 🆚 pro-conservative bias. Mark: “We’re doing a good job of making everyone mad at us.” First laughs of the speech!
Mark hopes sticking with free speech will “transcend” the current partisan times
Oh the @ewarren question! Another cute quip about @CaseyNewton scoop. But Mark goes broad and more word salad, but wants federal privacy bill and data portability.
Mark notes government not moving quickly. Yeah, that. To breakup FINALLY! oh, the old bigger is better ploy to make it go away. It’s not going away. He will fight it.
Mark: Despite all the critics, “The last few years have been a learning experience.” But he is unbowed! So he will come to Code? No! But I will ask!
Ok off to another event!
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