Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will deliver an “unfiltered take” on freedom of speech tomorrow via live Facebook video. “I’ve been writing a speech about my views on voice and free expression that I’m giving tomorrow,” Zuckerberg wrote. “It’s the most comprehensive take I’ve written about my views, why I believe voice is important, how giving people voice and bringing people together go hand in hand, how me might address the challenges that more voice and the internet introduce, and the major threats to free expression around the world.”
The speech will be delivered tomorrow at 1PM ET, and Zuckerberg calls it “an unfiltered take on how I think about these questions,” based on years of thinking about speech issues. Also, it’s apparently very long.
I’ve been writing a speech about my views on voice and free expression that I’m giving tomorrow. It’s the most…Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Zuckerberg has delivered plenty of lengthy philosophical musings about Facebook, but he’s generally published them as blog posts, not delivered them as live speeches. This announcement comes a couple of weeks after he unexpectedly live-streamed an internal Q&A session, following the publication of an earlier session’s audio by The Verge. It’s also taking place during an extended fight over Facebook’s role in political misinformation.
Zuckerberg has recently sparred with senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren over Facebook’s decision to exempt politicians from fact-checking. Earlier this week, he also defended his choice to hold off-the-record dinners with conservative journalists and commentators, widely seen as an attempt to protect Facebook from the Trump administration.
The reference to “major threats to free expression around the world,” meanwhile, may involve the mainland Chinese government’s crackdown on protests in Hong Kong — which has put pressure on major tech and media companies to participate in censorship.