#CharlieHebdo irony: Zuckerberg champions free speech while Facebook actively censors

 Mark Zuckerberg in 2013. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters


Mark Zuckerberg in 2013. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

"When Mark Zuckerberg praised Charlie Hebdo and free speech, Facebook users cried hypocrisy, pointing to a post by a Pakistani actor that had been censored," writes Alex Hern at the Guardian.

The post by Pakistani actor Hamza Ali Abbasi had questioned the value of “insulting” speech.

“Freedom of expression includes criticism, disagreement or even rejection of faiths or ideology … but should not and must not allow ‘insult’,” Abbasi had written. “Would it be ‘freedom of expression’ if I brand black people as niggers or if I say Hitler was a messiah? Would I not be branded a racist or anti-semitic?”

The post was removed by Facebook, citing its “community standards” – but in the wake of the criticism that followed, Zuckerberg conceded that “our team might have made a mistake” and instructed Facebook vice-president Justin Osofsky to “look into” it.

A few hours later, Osofsky confirmed that Facebook wasn’t supporting the removal.

"While that particular comment may have been removed in error," Facebook has become notorious for removing content of all kinds--in many cases without ever saying why it was removed," writes Mathew Ingram at GigaOm. "The social network seems to have a thing about breastfeeding photos, for example, which are still routinely removed, as well as content related to a number of dissident groups or anything that trips its standard filter for violence and other offensive content."