Zuckerberg ask governments to police free speech

Ironically and likely lost on him, he made the plea in Germany.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Apparently some people, no matter how successful in their field of endeavor, have a hard time understanding that free speech means, well, free speech.

Those people may have also neglected to read modern history. If they did they would understand that governments are the last place a society should go to in the hope of a fair and objective analysis on what constitutes freedom of expression.

One of those badly read people is Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg who, at a meeting of government leaders Saturday at the Munich Security Conference, actually asked states to decide what individuals can and can’t say.

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He opined, “There should be more guidance and regulation from the states on basically — take political advertising as an example — what discourse should be allowed? Or, on the balance of free expression and some things that people call harmful expression, where do you draw the line?”

You don’t, Mark.

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Because once you buy into the Orwellian concept of “hate speech” or “harmful expression” you’re reducing people to witless victims who can be turned into quivering masses just by the reading or recitation of mere words. Governments could also, conveniently for them as we see on college campuses around the world, ban ideas they don’t like under the umbrella of “hate speech.”

He went on.

“There are a lot of decisions in these areas that are really just balances between different social values. It’s about coming up with an answer that society feels is legitimate and that they can get behind and understand that you drew the line here on the balance of free expression and safety. It’s not just that there’s one right answer. People need to feel like, ‘OK, enough people weighed in, and that’s why the answer should be this, and we can get behind that.’”

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Safety from what, words?

What Zuckerberg is looking for is an easy state-sponsored fig leaf to cover his own brand of censorship that permits the dissemination of what he and his allies find acceptable. Any other expression could be termed “harmful” and become, as was once and now again said in Germany, verboten.

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