Here’s How to Let Facebook Know You Care About Free Speech

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By Kieran Corcoran | 5:42 am, June 16, 2017

Facebook is in an enormous mess over what to do about censorship on its site – and is asking for help making its mind up.

Every week, the sprawling network outrages somebody for either taking down or not taking down content that somebody thinks is controversial.

It censors Renaissance statues, Vietnam war photography and #freethenipple shots for containing nudity, while leaving up live-streamed suicides and murders.

It hides criticism of Thailand’s monarchy and polices Pakistani atheists, while claiming to promote free expression in the West, where that’s politically easy.

Indeed, founder Mark Zuckerberg straight-up  said he was intending to tighten censorship in the Middle East to suit their “cultural norms”.

Yesterday, Facebook admitted that it doesn’t have all the answers when it comes to content policing – and wants everyday users to have their say.

In a long blog post entitled “Hard Questions”, a Facebook executive asked for users to pitch in on what their approach to censorship should be, along with other issues like how to police online extremism, fake news, and what happens to accounts when people die.

Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s vice president for public policy and communications, phrased the free speech/censorship question like this:

How aggressively should social media companies monitor and remove controversial posts and images from their platforms? Who gets to decide what’s controversial, especially in a global community with a multitude of cultural norms?

It’s inevitable that hordes of pressure groups, NGOs and speech code advocates will have their say – so why not you too?

The email address for feedback is hardquestions@fb.com.

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