Facebook, just like any other company, is always on the lookout to expand their business and get more clients. Right now the biggest untapped market the heavily censored People’s Republic Of China. You may have though that social networking and suppression of free speech don’t go hand in hand, you would be wrong.
Facebook, China, and the Flow of Information
According to the New York Times, Facebook has been developing a censorship software for China. The social network is banned in the PFC. The censorship tool can be very helpful for the future Implementation of Facebook within the country.
According to the NYT, the tool developed by Facebook wouldn’t be utilized directly by the social network, but given to the government. Either way, it makes little difference who would be pulling the trigger, the results are the same.
The basic principle of the censorship software would be to block certain news stories, links, messages, and access to accounts. As you can probably guess, that a lot of Facebook’s content in the hands of whoever has the suppression software.
Censorship may defeat the whole purpose of social media. The CEO of Facebook has an interesting excuse, according to NYT sources Zuckerberg claimed:
“It’s better for Facebook to be a part of enabling conversation, even if it’s not yet the full conversation.”
The Social Media and Censorship
The news of a Facebook developed censorship tool aren’t particularly surprising. The company has jeopardized the privacy of its users countless times, and this wouldn’t be the last. Advertising makes the bulk of Facebook’s revenue. Let’s not forget, however; private information can be used for activities more dangerous than selling the right bath mat or hair dryer.
Social media is particularly hot potato nowadays. Turkey is known to block out social media within their territory to cover up certain events, like the leak of Turkey’s Twitter troll army. Russia is also notorious for this type of social media censorship, the most recent examples of which is the blocking of LinkedIn.