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Facebook has spent the last few months implementing new Community Standards rules to justify the bans of large swarms of people including those that post Holocaust memes, QAnon material, and anyone who displays right-wing views “too extreme” for the progressive company. 

And finally, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently told employees at a conference meeting the real reason the social network was cracking down: the US presidential election.

During the company-wide conference call on Thursday, the audio which was obtained by Buzzfeed, Zuckerberg, who maintains majority shareholder voting power at Facebook, had this to say:

“Once we’re past these events, and we’ve resolved them peacefully, I wouldn’t expect that we continue to adopt a lot more policies that are restricting of a lot more content.

The basic answer is that this does not reflect a shift in our underlying philosophy or strong support of free expression. What it reflects is, in our view, an increased risk of violence and unrest, especially around the elections, and an increased risk of physical harm, especially around the time when we expect COVID vaccines to be approved over the coming months.”

The conference call took place with almost all of Facebook’s 50,000 employees and some were allowed to question their elusive boss. 

According to the Buzzfeed audio, Zuckerberg also spoke at length about the recent report from a House of Representatives subcommittee on antitrust issues… But instead of trying to validate his former “free expression” views, Zuckerberg instructed his employees on how to help the company look better when the Department of Justice comes knocking.

“After noting that he thought Facebook existed in a competitive environment that included Twitter, Snapchat, and TikTok, he said that his company would be adopting a policy that prevented employees from discussing antitrust issues on internal forums and messages.”

Zuckerberg cited a policy at Google that prohibits employees from discussing antitrust issues because of ongoing federal investigations, calling it “quite prudent” and suggested that Facebook was looking at implementing their own version”

“Given that, you know, anything that any of you say internally is, of course, available to be subpoenaed or used in any of these investigations, I just think we should make sure that people aren’t just, you know, mouthing off about this and saying things that may reflect inaccurate data, or generally just are kind of incomplete. You shouldn’t be emailing about these things and you shouldn’t really be discussing this in non-privileged forums across the company.”

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"Public opinion is remarkably accurate in its prognostication, With regard to its judgment, when two speakers of equal skill are heard advocating different alternatives, very rarely does one find the people failing to adopt the better view or incapable of appreciating the truth of what it hears.” - Discourses On Livy

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