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Facebook: Don't regulate us or China will take over

By Cal Jeffrey · 18 replies
Jul 17, 2019
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  1. Facebook’s defense against being regulated or having certain parts of it shut down seems to rely on arguments that if it is not allowed to do what it wants, China will step in to fill the void and threaten our national security. CEO Mark Zuckerberg, VP of Communications Nick Clegg, and others have expressed this opinion on several occasions.

    In testimony before Congress this week, Facebook’s head of blockchain development David Marcus said that if Facebook were not allowed to offer its Libra cryptocurrency, someone else would come up with their own (insinuating China), thus threatening US national security.

    “I believe that if America does not lead innovation in the digital currency and payments area, others will,” Marcus read in a prepared statement before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday. “If we fail to act, we could soon see a digital currency controlled by others whose values are dramatically different. I believe if we stay put we’re going to be in a situation in 10, 15 years where half the world is on a blockchain technology that is out of reach of our national-security apparatus.”

    His comments are in response to a recent bill introduced in the House of Representatives called the Keep Big Tech Out Of Finance Act, which we reported about on Monday. If adopted, the law would prevent firms that generate over $25 billion in annual revenue from establishing, maintaining, or operating a digital asset “that is intended to be widely used as medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value, or any other similar function.”

    Facebook is trying to contend that the creation of cryptocurrencies is inevitable and that it would be better if US entities were controlling it rather than foreign and potentially hostile actors. The stance is a reflection of something Zuck said in an interview last year regarding the potential breakup of Facebook.

    “I think that the alternative, frankly, is going to be the Chinese companies,” Zuckerberg told Recode. “[If regulators] clip the wings of these companies and make it so that it’s harder for them to operate in different places, then there are plenty of other companies out [there] that are willing and able to take the place of the work that we’re doing. [The Chinese] do not share the values that we have.”

    The Facebook boss added that China would be less inclined to do anything about election interference or terrorism.

    Business Insider notes that communications chief Nick Clegg said essentially the same thing during a speech in Brussels back in January.

    “We don’t hear so much about China, which combines astonishing ingenuity with the ability to process data on a vast scale without the legal and regulatory constraints on privacy and data protection that we require on both sides of the Atlantic,” Clegg said referring to the increasing restrictions and scrutiny the company is facing.

    David Marcus’ testimony is more of the “if we don’t, then China will” scare tactics that the company has been employing for over the last year, despite multiple reports of Facebook being quite friendly with China.

    Whether the bombastic rhetoric has any effect on lawmakers who want to see the company taken down a notch remains to be seen. Ultimately, China is going to do what China is going to do regardless of whether or not Facebook beats them to it.

    Lead image credit: Ascannio via Shutterstock

    Permalink to story.

  2. poohbear

    poohbear TS Maniac Posts: 308   +213

    I totally agree with him. Imagine we were all on Wechat, which is the Chinese FB, and it was controlled by Chinese government overseers. ya, no thanks. AT ALL.

    FB is banned in China for a reason; they refused to be controlled by the government.
    Gypsygib and Knot Schure like this.
  3. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 2,000   +1,535

    What's the difference? You get spied on either way.
  4. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,119   +2,406

    This makes me think they absolutely should be regulated and broken up. The world did just fine before fakebook and will do just fine without fakebook.
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,504   +5,067

    It doesn't matter either way. Someone will step in and allow us to do what we want. It may be a cancer to society but people in general will get what they want.
  6. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,563   +1,548

    The whole point of cryptocurrency was supposed to be that no one had control of them.... I shouldn’t have to choose between China and Facebook...I’ll stick with Bitcoin
  7. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,778   +2,592

    China banned Facebook because terrorists used their service to organize a murderous riot and then FB said it wasn't their responsibility and that they wouldn't do anything to help prevent this sort of chaos in the future. The same thing happened during the Arab Spring uprisings but the western media naturally supported the Obama narrative that this was a spontaneous movement. The fact that Hillary Clinton admitted her state department trained agitators and recruiters to help overthrow these legitimate governments didn't seem to interest the press very much..I guess they were still too busy talking about Watergate. More recently FB has been used to organize opposition to the media-fueled leftist agenda in the western hemisphere, which wasn't that big a deal until the media's chosen candidate lost the election. The utter failure of the Democrat's two year-plus, multi-million dollar witch hunt to link Trump and Russia in some way meant that a scapegoat was needed. Someone had to pay and FB had failed in its appointed role as a tool to insure a victory for the far left - and in that camp you never let a good tragedy go to waste. Zuckerberg's team has tried to placate the liberals by blacklisting a number of conservative personalities and groups but that just isn't enough for the globalist-socialists. Now FB is probably going to be partially dismantled and rebuilt to serve the Deep State more effectively. Naturally they'll also be larger than usual kickbacks (fines) to the top bureaucrats until Zuck has re-learned his place. In the US they only ban you for not serving the agenda if you're too poor to defend yourself or bribe the right people. Of course, FB's arguments for why they shouldn't be regulated are as dishonest as the government's reasons for wanting to. The Chinese will take over blockchain and social networking? LOL, what westerner in their right mind uses any Chinese services now? Also just looove this line:

    "The Facebook boss added that China would be less inclined to do anything about election interference or terrorism."

    Seriously? China's approach to terrorism is to kill on sight or throw them into work camps for the rest of their lives. That's exactly how they respond to election interference, too. Considering how FB got itself banned this is just a staggering level of chutzpah.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
    JaredTheDragon likes this.
  8. scavengerspc

    scavengerspc TS Member Posts: 23   +19

    There is a HUGE difference between being watched and being told what you can read in the first place.
    S Hone likes this.
  9. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,119   +2,406

    If you are not being sarcastic, this is an interesting viewpoint. Western media never acknowledged social media's influence on the Arab Spring?

    As I recall, Twitter was given a large credit for that in western media at the time. You may want to read this - https://www.mic.com/articles/10642/twitter-revolution-how-the-arab-spring-was-helped-by-social-media
  10. DukeJukem

    DukeJukem TS Booster Posts: 99   +54

    How about we just ban crypto currency as a whole. having other currencies being used in the u.s just devalues the american dollar further. oh and mark zuckerbird is nothing but an alien from the depths of space anyway. this man needs to go somewhere else. nobody likes him.
  11. Knot Schure

    Knot Schure TS Addict Posts: 276   +118

    Hello from Shanghai... FB, Google, etc don't work, Yahoo loads, but the search box never returns results, scores of websites do not work / load at all. DNS corretly resolves the IP adds, but thats about it, you'll never reach the site.

    Even seemingly innocent sites just dont' load too, you might be on a forum, go to see a link elsewhere from your story, and again 'page failed to load'.

    Saudi is even worse, they have a block-first, click here to fill a form to unblock later.

    Beware ever increasing internet 'controls'.

    Today the BBC is not working. Must be something about HK then...
    treetops, S Hone and Cal Jeffrey like this.
  12. Jyrkz

    Jyrkz TS Booster Posts: 89   +77

    What ever happens dont let China take control. Simple!
    Crypto is inevitable.
  13. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 2,000   +1,535

    Yeah, both suck. Doesn't matter which side does it.
  14. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,935   +2,255

    But there are already hundreds of cryptos that all live outside regulation, what a stupid thing to say
  15. ExReey

    ExReey TS Rookie

    If China bans FB, the US can easily ban WeChat. I don't see the problem.
  16. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,610   +595

    One things for sure FB does not want to be broken up. And they want the crypto market. They are the best bet at making crypto explode. Then again after Fox news bought MySpace. And started calling themselves MyFox, MySpcace really took a nosedive. Not aligning themselves with a political party is the smartest thing FB has done.

    I doubt China would even allow WeChat to make it's own currency in any form. And no WeChat cannot compete globally, it's heavily censored by the Chinese.... Even the Chinese probably hate using WeChat.

    So I think this ban would mostly just stop FB from becoming more powerful. But fighting against the dems or repubs, might not bode well for FB. If the dems told FB to stop and they don't... They might lose either way. Sure they win the crypto battle if this doesn't pass, but that won't matter if they turn into the next MySpace. A lot of people already resent FB. Replace it with some kind of keep in touch app and there goes a great deal of people.

    Conclusion: Lashing out like this with a ridiculous argument puts FB in a bad light. Being deemed with or against a political party might destroy FB. If FB doesn't decide to end it's venture into crypto, it could spell the end of FB. So my guess is unless FB thinks of a great way to spin this, they will "voluntarily" opt out of crypto, for now.

    Crypto is illegal in China? Any country that doesn't like Crypto can ban it. Some have.
    X mark.svg Illegal

    Implicit ban.[13] Regulation prohibits financial firms holding or trading cryptocurrencies.[8]:China On 5 December 2013, People's Bank of China (PBOC) made its first step in regulating bitcoin by prohibiting financial institutions from handling bitcoin transactions.[70]

    On 1 April 2014 PBOC ordered commercial banks and payment companies to close bitcoin trading accounts in two weeks.[71]

    Cryptocurrency exchanges or trading platforms were effectively banned by regulation in September 2017 with 173 platforms closed down by July 2018.[72]

    In early 2018 the People's Bank of China announced the State Administration of Foreign Exchange led by Pan Gongsheng would crack down on bitcoin mining.[73][74] Many Bitcoin mines in China had stopped operating by January 2018.[72]
  17. RobJoy

    RobJoy TS Rookie

    "[The Chinese] do not share the values that we have."

    Stop right there. :D

    So they know they are doing what Chinese are doing, but if they prevent them doing it, the Chinese will continue doing it.

    They basically have same values.

    Did I miss anything? :D
  18. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,778   +2,592

    I never said that social media didn't play a major part in organzing the Arab Spring - in fact I said exactly the opposite. You might want to read this: what I actually posted.
  19. Knot Schure

    Knot Schure TS Addict Posts: 276   +118

    My Bitcoin wallet syncs just fine from inside China...

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