TECHNOLOGY

Mark Zuckerberg says he’ll face backlash for Facebook’s new approach

Feb 1, 2020, 6:40 AM
FILE - In this May 1, 2018, file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote speech at...
FILE - In this May 1, 2018, file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote speech at F8, Facebook's developer conference, in San Jose, Calif. Federal regulators are fining Facebook $5 billion for privacy violations and instituting new oversight and restrictions on its business. But they are only holding Zuckerberg personally responsible in a limited fashion. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

(CNN) — Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook will stand up for principles like free expression and encryption, even if it means facing a backlash.

“This is the new approach, and I think it’s going to piss off a lot of people. But frankly, the old approach was pissing off a lot of people too, so let’s try something different,” Zuckerberg said at the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit in Utah on Friday.

The Facebook cofounder and CEO said his company’s aim for a long time was to not do anything that would be deemed as “too offensive,” but he is now changing that approach in the face of what he deems as excessive censorship.

“Increasingly we’re getting called to censor a lot of different kinds of content that makes me really uncomfortable,” Zuckerberg said, while acknowledging Facebook’s responsibility to purge its platforms of content related to terrorism, child exploitation and incitement to violence.

“We’re going to take down the content that’s really harmful, but the line needs to be held at some point,” he added.

Zuckerberg also said Facebook would continue to fight for encryption, another stance that has sparked controversy in recent months.

The company has come under fire for allowing politicians to lie in ads, at a time when Twitter has decided to ban political advertising altogether.

Mark Zuckerberg has been increasingly vocal about Facebook’s determination to stick to its positions even when they prove unpopular. His comments in Utah came days after he said on the company’s latest earnings call that his goal for the next decade “isn’t to be liked, but to be understood.”

The 35-year-old tech billionaire reiterated that sentiment on Friday.

“If you’re not out there standing for things that people care about then it’s not possible for people to feel that strongly about what you’re doing,” he said.

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Mark Zuckerberg says he’ll face backlash for Facebook’s new approach