Facebook Apologizes but Makes No Real Change in Censoring Catholicism
Mark Zuckerberg faces the US Congress in April
The CEO of Facebook appeared on April 11, 2018, before a U.S. Congress committee to answer several questions, in particular the repeated censorship of several pages whose content’s only wrong was that it was Catholic.
It was the Republican Senator of Texas, Ted Cruz, who asked Mark Zuckerberg if the world’s most famous social network has a prejudice against conservative groups and especially the Church, given the fact it has blocked a couple dozen pages for content considered “dangerous for the community.”
The founder of Facebook chose to keep a low profile. He thus apologized for the “mistake” that led to the censorship of a picture of the San Damiano Cross and other “malfunctions” that censored Catholic or more generally conservative content. But he did not go so far as to question Facebook’s system: “I wouldn’t extrapolate from a few examples to assume that the overall system is biased.”
Pressed by the Republican Senator’s questions, the CEO of Facebook explained the context of his company that, like other cutting-edge technological institutions, is “located in Silicon Valley, which is an extremely left-leaning place”; Facebook, however, he ensured, is committed to “making sure that we do not have any bias,” and the company has no political or religious orientations.
When Senator Ben Sasse asked him to “define hate speech,” which is blocked by the social network, Mark Zuckerberg was unable to answer: “I think that this is a really hard question,” was the best he could do.
The same senator insisted: “Can you imagine a world where you might decide that pro-lifers are prohibited from speaking about their abortion views on your content — on your platform?” Zuckerberg responded, “I certainly would not want that to be the case,” before going on to say that the technological shift toward using artificial intelligence to “proactively look at content,” will create “massive questions for society about what obligations we want to require companies to fulfill.”
Mark Zuckerberg apologized repeatedly for the scandal involving the data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica. The personal information of 87 million accounts was “improperly shared,” to quote his understatement. The Democratic senator of Illinois, Dick Durbin, explained to him that “this is about your right to privacy, the limits of your right to privacy and how much you give away in modern America in the name of, quote, ‘connecting people around the world.’”
Sources: cath.ch / CAN / FSSPX.News – 4/25/2018