Facebook’s Nick Clegg Claims Company Loves Free Expression and ‘American Values’

Mark Zuckerberg at Georgetown
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS /Getty

Facebook Vice President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg stated in a recent op-ed that Facebook shouldn’t be hampered by regulation so that it can be free to spread its technology worldwide but also American values such as “free expression.”

In a recent op-ed published by CNBC, Facebook Vice President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg outlined the values that Facebook believes it must promote worldwide. Clegg stated that Facebook focuses on promoting American values such as “free expression,” a statement many would find ironic considering the allegations of censorship Facebook has faced in recent years.

“The US risks becoming a nation that exports incredible technologies, but fails to export its values,” Clegg wrote in the op-ed. Clegg addresses the regulation issues that Facebook is facing from lawmakers, stating:

This is a pivotal moment. As policymakers begin drafting laws, it’s increasingly clear there are contrasting visions of what the internet should be. The open, accessible and global internet we use today has been shaped by American companies and American values like free expression, transparency, accountability and the encouragement of innovation and entrepreneurship. But these values can’t be taken for granted.

Clegg also condemned the Chinese government’s approach to the internet, stating: “The Chinese internet model — segregated from the wider internet and subject to extensive surveillance.” He further noted that Turkey, Vietnam, and Russia are also countries that have “taken steps in a similar direction.”

While Clegg’s comments are commendable, they are at odds with how Facebook regularly acts. Only recently Breitbart News reported that Facebook has boasted of its reduction of what it claims to be “hate speech” on the platform by 50 percent.
Breitbart News reporter Allum Bokhari writes in the article:

Facebook has released its quarterly “community standards enforcement report.” In the data, the social network revealed that the prevalence of so-called hate speech on the platform last quarter was 0.05-0.06 percent — half of its prevalence in the third quarter of 2020.

In Facebook’s post summarizing the data, the tech giant also boasted of its use of artificial intelligence to censor so-called hate speech. The company says its AI systems “proactively detect” around 97 percent of hate speech content that is removed by the platform, meaning that most censorship on Facebook is facilitated by machines.

Via Facebook:

We evaluate the effectiveness of our enforcement by trying to keep the prevalence of hate speech on our platform as low as possible, while minimizing mistakes in the content that we remove. This improvement in prevalence on Facebook is due to changes we made to reduce problematic content in News Feed.

Advancements in AI technologies have allowed us to remove more hate speech from Facebook over time, and find more of it before users report it to us. When we first began reporting our metrics on hate speech in Q4 of 2017, our proactive detection rate was 23.6%. This means that of the hate speech we removed, 23.6% of it was found before a user reported it to us. The remaining majority of it was removed after a user reported it. Today we proactively detect about 97% of hate speech content we remove.

Read Clegg’s full op-ed in CNBC here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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