In attempting to live up to the ideals of free speech and free trade, the complexity of achieving each soon becomes apparent. That’s because in practice, neither of these ideals literally exists – even in the Western nations that rightly hold them as high virtues.
Given the best of intentions, it is highly doubtful that Mark Zuckerberg’s recent grilling before a US Senate hearing committee will actually pave the way towards any guarantee of ‘free speech’ on Facebook. His hauntingly welcome acceptance of government regulation on ‘privacy’ issues that would affect how he runs his Facebook business model may well open the barn door to the entrenchment of regulated speech – by government.
Said Zuckerberg: “Our position is not that regulation is bad. I think the Internet is so important in people’s lives and it’s getting more important, the expectations on Internet companies and technology companies overall are growing. And I think the real question is ‘What is the right framework for this?’ not ‘Should there be one?’”