Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg insists that his creation started as an innocent attempt to connect the world — nothing at all controversial about that. However, since its beginnings in 2004, the site has ballooned to almost 2 billion users (out of 7 billion human beings on earth), and like any entity that big, it’s frequently hit with problems and scandal. Zuckerberg addressed these problems, including censorship, fake news, free speech and more, in a wide-ranging interview with Fast Company this week.
Throughout the interview, Zuckerberg was on the defensive, claiming there is “no kind of underlying, nefarious motivation” behind Facebook’s practices. He also complained about the difficulty of considering freedom of speech concerns in a company spread across so many different cultures around the world.
“In some places, the idea that showing a woman’s breasts would be controversial feels backwards,” he said, using the issue of nudity as an example. “But there are other places where images that are at all sexually suggestive, even if they don’t show nudity, just because of a pose, that’s over the line.”
“Freedom of speech is a funny thing because people always want freedom of speech unless people disagree with them,” Zuckerberg continued.
It’s hard to feel bad for the Facebook leader dealing with the consequences of his social media giant. There is nothing unfair about the controversies the site faces regularly — they are the inevitable result of a tech company trying to be everything to everyone, all at once. Now it’s Facebook, and Zuckerberg’s, responsibility to deal with it.
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