FB oversight member says free speech ‘is not an absolute human right’

FB oversight member says free speech ‘is not an absolute human right’


A Facebook Oversight Board member says free speech is “not an absolute human right,” and must be balanced against “other human rights” when deciding what content to censor.

The board member, former Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt, said “free speech is not an absolute human right.”

“It has to be balanced with other human rights,” she said Thursday at a Politico Europe event.

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The 20-member Facebook Oversight Board was set up last year to allow corporate executives to claim distance from politically sensitive decisions.

The board in May recommended that the company uphold a continued ban on former President Donald Trump’s account after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

The oversight board includes five Americans and 15 members from Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Helle Thorning Schmidt is the former prime minister of Denmark.AFP via Getty Images

Although US courts have found the right to free speech isn’t absolute, the US has strong legal and cultural support for

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