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Zuckerberg defends Facebook’s political ad policies

(SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) FACEBOOK CEO, MARK ZUCKERBERG, SAYING:

“I believe that when it is not absolutely clear what to do, then we should err on the side of greater expression."

Speaking at Georgetown University Thursday, Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg defended his company’s policy on political ads in an attempt to position his company as a beacon of free speech.

(SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) FACEBOOK CEO, MARK ZUCKERBERG, SAYING:

“Would we ban ads about healthcare or immigration, or women's empowerment? And if you are not going to ban those, does it really make sense to give everyone else a voice in political debates except for the candidates themselves?”

Facebook has come under fire for its advertising policies, particularly from U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Political ads on the social media platform are exempt from fact-checking standards applied to other content on its site.

In his speech, Zuckerberg also expressed regret that he was unable to ever overcome China's strict censorship to enter its market.

(SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) FACEBOOK CEO, MARK ZUCKERBERG, SAYING:

"I wanted our services in China because I believe in connecting the whole world, and I thought maybe we could help create a more open society."

Facebook has tried for years to break into China, one of the last great obstacles to Zuckerberg's vision of connecting the world's entire population on the company's apps, but has so far failed to do so.