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Facebook has reportedly built censorship technology so it can return to China

By midian182 · 4 replies
Nov 23, 2016
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  1. It’s no secret that Mark Zuckerberg wants Facebook back in China. The country has blocked the social network since 2009, denying it access to 1.4 billion potential users. The CEO made a very public visit to the Asian nation earlier this year, and now his company is reportedly attempting to appease Xi Jinping’s government by building a censorship tool.

    The New York Times reports that the technology can block certain posts from appearing in the news feeds of users in some regions. Facebook wouldn’t be the one to censor the items; instead, this power would be given to a third-party, most likely a partner Chinese company.

    In July, Facebook employees asked Zuckerberg about the technology at one of the company's weekly Q&A sessions. “It’s better for Facebook to be a part of enabling conversation, even if it’s not yet the full conversation,” he replied.

    The report goes on to state that the tool is just one of many ideas Facebook has come up with as a way into China, and it may never be officially released. Nevertheless, several employees who were working on it have left the company after expressing concerns over the feature.

    Mike Isaac, who wrote the Times article, tweeted a piece of information that didn’t make the final report: it was the US election result and fear of the Trump administration accessing the tool that scared sources into leaking its details.

    A Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement: “We have long said that we are interested in China, and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country. However, we have not made any decision on our approach to China.”

    The news comes at a bad time for Facebook. The company has faced criticism recently for not doing enough to fight the spread of fake news stories. Now, it will no doubt be accused of putting ethics aside for the sake of extra profit.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +322

    The scary thing about Facebook is how stupid the people using it actually are.

    I made a profile - as an experiment - using a female name and photo so I could troll Facebook and suddenly I start getting D*** pics from a bunch of strangers.

    I considered friending these *****s and then sending their pics to their parents with a message: "your son's a pervert".
    Kunming, BSim500 and wastedkill like this.
  3. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,164   +1,416

    Had to laugh at this one ..
    He just got done telling us the tool was 'one of many ideas Facebook has come up with as a way into China, and it may never be officially released' and they're 'building a censorship tool.' So they're scared of Trump stealing something that hasn't been built yet? That filters out news written in CHINESE?

    I think the reason it didn't make it into the final report was because it's a steaming pile of BS. Way to get your Trump bashing in though, Mike Issac.

    Anyway - I don't fault Facebook for doing this. Facebook's purpose isn't to promote freedom of speech - Facebook is for grandparents to see pics of the grandkids and for people to stay in touch with friends. Facebook doesn't need to deny 1.4 billion Chinese the use of their tool just so some righteous American's don't accuse them of sacrificing their ethics.

    If Facebook is censored in China it will be just like the rest of the internet in China. Better to let them use it instead of denying the Chinese of a social network just because of news censorship. Reading the news isn't why people in China want to use Facebook.
  4. We all know Zuckerberg just wants the kids to have fun, nothing at all to do with money or ethics (or lack of thereof)
  5. Kunming

    Kunming TS Maniac Posts: 308   +187

    It's better to let Chinese users use their own social networking sites, rather than fb.

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