Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) urged Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to commit to protecting free speech during a hearing today before the House Financial Services Committee.
Rep. Andy Barr grilled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the topic of free speech during a hearing this week before the House Financial Services Committee, urging Zuckerberg to protect the first amendment on the social media platform rather than censor content as many other politicians have called for.
Barr began his statement to Zuckerberg saying: “Mr. Zuckerberg I do want to commend you on statements you made recently at Georgetown University about free speech and the first amendment. I was particularly happy to hear you say that you would quote ‘continue to stand for free expression understanding its messiness but believing that the long journey towards greater progress requires confronting ideas that challenge us’.”
“I do find it highly troubling that politicians are trying to bully you to be a fact-checker and to be the speech police, especially in politics, at the core of the first amendment,” Barr continued. “So along those lines, I want to ask you a question about censorship and whatever fact-checking board you’re delegating these responsibilities to. Will you commit that Facebook will not censor any political ad placed on your platform or in support of President Donald Trump.”
Zuckerberg responded: “Congressman, my commitment on this is that, or the principal at least here is that people should be able to see for themselves what politicians are saying. That doesn’t just go for Trump that goes for any of the candidates for any of our national offices. People need to be able to see for themselves and be able to make judgments on what the candidates are saying and their character.”
“Well I applaud you for that and I don’t want you to be bullied by politicians to relinquish our treasured free speech under the first amendment,” said Barr before adding: “Protect it. And don’t be bullied by politicians that want to censor politically incorrect speech.”