Mark Zuckerberg says he feels “uncomfortable” acting as the world’s censor, although he also claims that it is currently “his job” to do so — and mainstream journalists agree.
“I feel fundamentally uncomfortable sitting here in California at an office, making content policy decisions for people around the world,” the Facebook CEO told Recode last week.
The Facebook CEO said, “There are going to be things that we never allow, right, like terrorist recruitment and … We do, I think, in terms of the different issues that come up, a relatively very good job on making sure that terrorist content is off the platform. But things like where is the line on hate speech? I mean, who chose me to be the person that …”
Zuckerberg then said that he has to make those decisions because he “leads” Facebook, but that he’d “rather not.”
At this point, his interviewer, mainstream tech journalist Kara Swisher said she was going to “push back” on his hinted desire to remain content-neutral, saying that “companies have values.” She went on to compare Facebook to the New York Times, questioning why Zuckerberg feels uncomfortable making “value decisions.”
Zuckerberg responded, saying he wants “to make the decisions as well as possible.”
“So, for now, it’s my job, right? And I am responsible for it. But I just wish that there were a way … a process where we could more accurately reflect the values of the community in different places. And then in the community standards, have that be more dynamic in different places.”
Zuckerberg’s comments are a rare reminder of the original ethos of social media companies; to remain content neutral and give users control over what they say and see. But as the interviewer’s line of questioning indicates, the mainstream tech press is fundamentally hostile to this idea.