US-Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg has said he does not think it is right for a company to censor politicians or the news in a democracy.

He was giving a speech in Washington DC following weeks of criticism over the firm’s decision not to ban political adverts that contain falsehoods.

He added he had considered barring all political ads on his platforms.

But he said he believed the move would favour incumbent politicians and whoever the media chose to cover. And Mr Zuckerberg said that even if he had supported the idea, it was not clear where his firm would draw the line.

Instead, he said, he had decided the company should “err on the side of greater expression”.

“We’re at another crossroads,” he said.

“We can either continue to stand for free expression, understanding its messiness but believing that the long journey towards greater progress requires confronting ideas that challenge us. Or we can decide that the cost is simply temporary.

“The future depends on all of us,” he added.

“And whether you like it or not. I think we need to recognise what is at stake, and come together to stand for voice and free expression at this critical moment.”

Mr Zuckerberg referenced Martin Luther King Jr’s imprisonment in Birmingham Jail, Alabama as an example of a previous backlash against free expression.