Freedom of speech places the United States in a "crash course" with global limits to state-of-the-art technology


To navigate the different approaches to speech, different solutions will be needed, said Kevin Martin, head of Facebook lobbying in the United States.

"Mark and Facebook recognize, support and are powerful supporters of the First Amendment," Martin said. This nuance was lost because the opinion, published in the Washington Post, The Independent in Britain and elsewhere, was written to address a global audience, he said.

Technology companies, as private companies, have the right to choose the speech that exists on their sites, in the same way that a newspaper can choose which letters addressed to the editor-in-chief publish.

Their online sites are already generating content for breaking their rules. Facebook and Google have for example tens of thousands of content moderators to eradicate hate speech and false information on their sites. Companies also use artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to identify content that violates their terms of service.

But many recent events, such as the mosque shooting in New Zealand, show the limitations of these resources and tools and have led to more regulatory demands. A live video of an armed man during the New Zealand massacre was viewed 4,000 times before Facebook was notified. At that time, copies of the video had been uploaded to multiple sites, such as 8Chan, and Facebook was struggling to take slightly modified versions.

"For the first time, I see that the left and the right agree that something has gone out of control and that there is a lot of consensus about the wrongs caused by the false information, the terrorist content and electoral interference, "said Nicole Wong, MP. Chief Technology Officer for the Obama Administration.

Obtaining consensus on the basic definitions of what constitutes harmful content has, however, been difficult. And American lawmakers have been of little use.

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