The New York Times reports that Facebook has developed software that will enable partner Chinese companies to monitor popular stories and topics that Facebook users share across the social network. Facebook’s partner would have power to decide whether those posts should show up in users’ feeds and suppress posts from in specific geographic areas. The censorship and information-suppressing software was created to help Facebook get into China, a lucrative market where the social network has been blocked. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is, sources say, full supportive of this effort by Facebook to make the subjugation of Chinese liberty easier.
One of Facebook’s core mission statements is “Make the world more open and connected.” Like so many mission statements, it is public relations deception. If Facebook was devoted to this mission, it would not even consider breaching its intent, letter and spirit by spending time and money to develop censorship software.
Facebook’s real mission is making a fortune by expanding into new markets. Let us not debase the topic of this blog by defaulting to Rationalization # 25. The Coercion Myth: “I have no choice!”
Facebook has a choice, the ethical one. That choice is to tell China it has a choice: either accept Facebook without censorship, of do without it. Google and Twitter, neither exactly paragons of virtue, have been blocked there for refusing to yield to the government’s censorship requirements. Boy, when a company isn’t even as ethical as Twitter..wow.
This is the company we are going to trust to decide what is “real news.” Ridiculous.
Prominent Democratic Party supporter Zuckerberg, like the party itself, is insufficiently allergic to the methods and objectives of totalitarianism.