Zuckerberg Facebook Must Decide What It IS
Thoughts lead to words, words lead to actions. Words can be used for good and for evil. Limiting those words thus can also be used to do good or evil. This is why the first amendment says that Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech.
Last time I checked, Facebook is not Congress. Facebook is a private company. It is the freedom of private companies and private persons to abridge the freedom of speech of others when it is on our private property.
A person cannot use the walls of my house to write their message. I can personally stop them. They must have my permission. If I do give them my permission, they must write only that which I permit.
A person can write on their walls whatever they deem personally fit.
Same goes for T-shirts. It is up to NIKE to decide what goes on their shirts and shoes, regardless of what the customers think. Their choice is to buy or not buy.
Zuckerberg’s stance (not Facebook, plenty at Facebook disagree with him) that he cannot check or limit posts on Facebook, is wrong. He can create a policy, it is in his right. A policy that protects society and people and users.
The company has billions of users. In a way, it is the largest company and largest state on earth. However, it is a very limited state: it offers no shelter, it offers no police, it offers no defense. If he believes that he is a state, then he is a dictator, none of us can vote for him. However, he operates within jurisdiction of different countries. He limits posts in some countries and he does less so in others.
If Zuckerberg thinks that he is Congress and that he cannot abridge the laws of speech, then I suggest he allow his post to be filled by election, give up his status as a for-profit company and allow government oversight.
If he does not want to give up his position as CEO and owner, then he can either create the policies that protect his users and their ability to use his platform for good, or he can make it such that it is what it is now: a force for evil, a force for undermining elections, a force for creating genocide, a force for letting employers fire their employees by spying on their private lives.
If he refuses to let it be a force for good, then I think it is time for Congress to limit not Facebook’s ability to publish their information, but to how Facebook profit’s from ours. Because if there is one thing that Mark Zuckerberg and Cheryl Sandberg understand, it is the voice of money.