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Mark Zuckerberg says freedom of speech but he means profits

06/12/20 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General

Link: https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-tom-cotton-new-york-times-op-ed-and-the-tired-old-snowflake-defense

My book, “Antisocial,” is largely about how Silicon Valley’s knee-jerk techno-utopianism led us all into disaster. At book events, back when there were book events, I was often asked what could be done. As long as Facebook remained dedicated to maximizing its profits, were there any simple reforms that could make the company a less destructive force? More content moderators? More regulation? My answer was that Mark Zuckerberg should stop taking on such personal-improvement challenges as wearing a tie or learning Mandarin, and should instead take on the personal-improvement challenge of finishing college. Maybe he could study history and learn about the fragility of representative democracy. Maybe he could study enough political philosophy to see that John Stuart Mill, despite his enormous contributions to the field, need not be treated as the final word on questions of individual liberty. It’s possible that, as a thirty-six-year-old junior, he would feel oppressed by all the safe spaces and trigger warnings; it’s also possible that he would learn about how social movements are organized and how totalitarian propaganda is spread, and that this knowledge would make him more of a contextualist. In any case, he would surely find that a college campus doesn’t seem like such a despotic place these days, relatively speaking.

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