Mark Zuckerberg at eG8 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
As far as claims go that Facebook is responsible for the Arab Spring protests
sweeping across the Middle East, Mark Zuckerberg had a simple response on
Speaking at the e-G8 Internet Forum in Paris,
Zuckerberg downplayed Facebook’s role in places like Cairo, Homs and
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“It’s not a Facebook thing, it’s an Internet thing,” he said when
asked about his site’s influence on the Middle East’s popular uprisings. “I
think Facebook was neither necessary nor sufficient for any of those things to
If it weren’t Facebook, it would be something else,” added the
On Tuesday, Zuckerberg was invited to the Elysee
Palace for a personal meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy – an
encounter which occurred after Sarkozy repeatedly offended the Internet genius
with his hard line on Web regulation.
According to a report in Britain’s
the Daily Mail, Zuckerberg was joined by Google CEO Eric Schmidt in taking
offense to Sarkozy’s comments, which called for governments to step up their
role in policing content on the Internet.
“Now that the Internet is an
integral part of most people’s lives, it would be contradictory to exclude
governments from this huge forum,” Sarkozy said.
“Nobody could, nor
should, forget that these governments are the only legitimate representatives of
the will of the people in our democracies,” he continued. “To forget this is to
take the risk of democratic chaos, and hence anarchy.”
After meeting with
Sarkozy, Zuckerberg spoke to the media and seemed to have toned down his
response. His meeting, AFP reported, “was fun.”
As for his thoughts on
Sarkozy, Zuckerberg added, “I understand where he’s coming from. I appreciate
the chance to be here, and be part of the dialogue.”