Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t understand free speech in the 21st century
- Zuckerberg outlined a facile and incomplete history of the expansion of legal speech in the United States, misapplied it to his own global, private company (as if a limitation on the state’s ability to censor has anything to do with what any company may or should do), and offered the shallowest of platitudes about the value of two of his favorite phrases, “giving more people a voice” and “bringing people together”.
- Even considering just political advertising in the United States (and ignoring all other content uploaded by users and groups and ads in the rest of the world) Facebook would have to patrol hundreds of thousands of ads for races at all levels of government.
- The thing is, a thriving democracy needs more than motivation, the ability to find and organize like-minded people.
Facebook and Speech: It’s All About Power
- And those who are mostly stuck in industrial age thinking recommending a traditional antitrust approach to limiting power.
- Facebook is a different animal and trying to put it into one of these boxes will always result in some ridiculous conclusion and yet people persist in doing so.
- The second trap is misunderstanding network effects.
- But each of these three separate networks would still be ridiculously powerful in its own right and so would be Twitter and whatever new networks are yet to come.
- As long as there is one Facebook algorithm, one Twitter algorithm, one Instagram algorithm, etc.
- The same would and could happen if platform such as Facebook and Twitter were required to have an API.
- New intermediaries would spring up quite rapidly that would vastly extend the power of endusers over the networks.
- Power will be shifted back to the network participants.
Amazon Releases New Public Data Set to Help Address “Cocktail Party” Problem
- Maarten Van Segbroeck, an applied scientist in the Alexa International group and first author on the associated paper, cowrote this post with Zaid Ahmed.
- Amazon today announced the public release of a new data set that will help speech scientists address the difficult problem of separating speech signals in reverberant rooms with multiple speakers.
- Each participant was outfitted with a headset microphone, which captured a clear, speaker-specific signal.
- Also dispersed around the room were five devices with seven microphones each, which fed audio signals directly to an administrator’s laptop.
- The data set we are releasing includes both the raw audio from each of the seven microphones in each device and the headset signals.
- The headset signals provide speaker-specific references that can be used to gauge the success of speech separation systems acting on the signals from the microphone arrays.
Investigators reportedly served search warrants on Gab and Twitter to find out if an arrested neo-Nazi shared child abuse images on social media
- Investigators reportedly served search warrants to social media sites Gab and Twitter last month after a white supremacist was arrested on suspicion of possessing child abuse images.
- According to The Daily Beast, the warrants are aimed at establishing whether or not 29-year-old Colorado man Wesley Gilreath illegally shared child abuse images with other users of the social networking sites.
- The Daily Beast says he posted as "NatSat" or "National Satanist" on both Gab and Twitter, with The "NatSat" name also referring to the Nazi party's "national socialist" full name.
- The Daily Beast adds that Gilreath simultaneously operated multiple accounts on Twitter, common among those whose accounts are deleted, and failed in an attempt to purchase a gun in May. He was interviewed by the FBI the same month, but was released without charge.
Mark Zuckerberg suggests Facebook might have helped prevent the war in Iraq
- Facebook might have been able to help prevent the Iraq War had it existed at the time, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed in a high-profile speech that attempted to recast the controversial origins of the social network in a more noble light.
- But the start of his speech has also drawn attention — because of how Zuckerberg framed early Facebook as being influenced by the Iraq War. The suggestion is that had Facebook existed in 2003, when the US decided to invade Iraq, its open platform might have helped debate coalesce and potentially produce a different outcome — and that this debate was instrumental in the birth of Facebook the following year.
- In those early days, Zuckerberg was seemingly blasé about his users' rights and the material they shared on Facebook.
What Mark Zuckerberg’s big talk about free speech left out
- All week, we’ve been talking here about a central debate in our reckoning over big tech platforms and their power: what should stay up on the internet, and what should come down.
- The speech began with a major tactical and factual error, in which Zuckerberg attempted to awkwardly retcon the founding of Facebook into a story about giving students a voice during the Iraq war.
- I know many people disagree, but, in general, I don’t think it’s right for a private company to censor politicians or the news in a democracy.
- Two, Zuckerberg presents Facebook specifically and social media more generally as a leveling force in democracies.
- Finally, Zuckerberg presents Facebook as somewhat divorced from the real-world consequences of its speech decisions.
Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook has issues, but at least it's not China
- During the speech, he repeated that Facebook stood for free expression, made vague noises towards its improvement, and pointed out that — as far as values go — it’s at least standing against the likes of China.
- Zuckerberg spent the first part of his speech touting the good Facebook had done, and how it’s “decentralized power by putting it in people’s hands.” Most of his speech attempted to cast Facebook as a bastion of free expression battered by outside forces and critics, and I leave it to my readers to assess how true they think that is.
- Everything else he mentioned on stage was Macbeth’s tale told by an idiot: “Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” But when he spoke about Facebook as some kind of oak standing sentinel against the encroaching, anti-free expression values of China, you could tell he actually felt what he was saying.
Facebook's billionaire CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed threats to free speech in a rare public address on Thursday
- Though Facebook has faced constant criticism for allowing misinformation to spread on the platform, Zuckerberg focused on the positive action that has resulted from people expressing themselves freely on social media.
- While discussing the steps Facebook has taken to defend freedom of expression, Zuckerberg also identified the three largest threats he sees to free speech on the internet, and around the world.
- He mentioned the increase and spread of laws that restrict free speech online, admitted that Facebook and other social media platforms run the risk of restricting their users' speech, and said that people are trying to redefine what types of speech are dangerous.
- Zuckerberg also said that social media platform holders are responsible for many of the decisions that control people's speech online.
- However, he said the tension has also led to distrust, and people are trying to restrict one another's voices to protect their own political interests.
Mark Zuckerberg’s Georgetown University speech didn’t say anything new
- Earlier this month, the Facebook CEO held a livestreamed version of the social media company’s normally closed employee Q&As. And on Thursday, he streamed a live talk at Georgetown University about the company’s decisions not to ban outright false political ads and about free speech in general.
- The free speech talk came after Politico reported that Zuckerberg was having dinners with conservative pundits and after Facebook has received flak for letting President Trump post false political ads.
- It might be a good time to remember that Zuckerberg, after the 2016 election, didn’t believe that disinformation campaigns on Facebook had an impact on the election — a stance he gradually reversed.
- Facebook has yet to share the extensive information it promised about disinformation on the platform after the 2016 election.
Zuckerberg Doubles Down on Free Speech—the Facebook Way
- The Facebook CEO didn't announce new initiatives in a highly promoted speech, but reaffirmed his view that the company makes the world a better place.
- Zuckerberg’s highly promoted speech introduced no new Facebook features or initiatives, but was a defiant reply to critics of Facebook’s destructive effects on global society—manipulating voters, fomenting division, and even aiding genocide.
- Despite considerable evidence that the approach has often fallen short, Zuckerberg still professes optimism: Giving people a voice and connecting the world, he believes, are transformationally positive actions.
- Maybe the most powerful part of the speech was when he said, “I’m not going to be around forever,” and so he thinks it essential to deeply embed free speech values into Facebook so the company continues giving voice to people long after he’s gone.