At the first International Town Hall Q&A held in Bogota, Colombia, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg discussed a wide range of topics that included free speech, terrorism, entrepreneurship and even pop star Shakira.
Zuckerberg touted Facebook's messaging and sharing features as significant components of free speech, a concept that he said is now part of a bigger international struggle after the terrorist attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
The CEO discussed how Facebook looks to connect its users from around the world, further emphasizing the points he made in an earlier Facebook post.
In the post written last week, Zuckerberg said that the terrorist attack should be rejected. He also promised that he would not let such an attack silence Facebook, as Zuckerberg is committed to creating a social network wherein its users can freely speak their minds without fear of violence.
"We're trying to connect everyone in the world and give everyone a voice," Zuckerberg said in the town hall. "This is about freedom of expression."
Zuckerberg also talked about his philosophy in building a startup company, stating that the typical story of people turning an inspiration into a multibillion dollar corporation is not really how a startup finds success in most cases.
According to Zuckerberg, the ideas for a successful startup do not just suddenly come to people. The ideas form through communicating with other people over a long period of time.
During the town hall, one of the participants asked the Facebook CEO how much he knew about the country before he arrived, since it was the first visit by Zuckerberg to Colombia.
"As far as the culture goes, I'm a really big fan of Shakira," Zuckerberg answered, referring to the Waka Waka singer who is a native of the country.
The International Town Hall is the third public forum that Zuckerberg has held, but is the first one that was held outside the United States. The Facebook CEO flew to Colombia as part of the Internet.org initiative, which looks to create low-cost or free connections to the Internet for locations around the world.
According to Zuckerberg, Facebook was able to forge an agreement for free access to limited connections to the Internet for mobile phones throughout Colombia.
Zuckerberg has held two such public Q&A events in the past, both of which were at Facebook's headquarters in California. The events allowed any participant to ask questions to Zuckerberg, with previous queries including those on the lower range for posts by business pages and the possibility of a dislike button for the social network.