Facebook board member says there’s no ‘absolute’ right to Free Speech

Helle Thorning-Schmidt

No one can genuinely be surprised by this headline, but a Facebook Oversight Board member wanted to make it official.

“Free speech is not an absolute human right,” says board member and former Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

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

Her comments received immediate backlash on Twitter.

“This type of talk should terrify you,” said Isidro Prince.

Barbarossa tweeted, somewhat humorously, “Xi? Is that you?”

While Denny Chad Halen wrote, “Oh, she is the former PM of Demark? What has Demark ever contributed to the world besides being easily invaded and overrun?”

Facebook’s Oversight Board, sometimes called its Supreme Court, has 20 members and was created last year.

Ironically, it was Thorning-Schmidt who publicly criticized the Facebook Oversight Board for using unfair rules when it decided to ban Trump from the platform.

“Facebook invented their own sanctions as they looked into this particular user, Trump,” she told Axios.

“Why is this user, Trump, any more special than anyone else? To be punished differently, in ways Facebook chooses to,” she said.

Thorning-Schmidt’s most recent remarks of limiting free speech seem to muddy her previous statement after the board banned Trump.

“All users have the right to free speech. They also can’t step over Facebook’s community standards, and they also have the right for the sanctions and penalties that Facebook has in place, not new ones that Facebook invents,” she said in early May.

Apparently, Thornburg-Schmidt believes citizens have a right to free speech, as long as she is the sole judge of that free speech.


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