Facebook reportedly built a censorship tool so it can get into China


NSFW    MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA — Facebook has been quietly developing a censorship tool that could hide posts that appear in the News Feed in certain geographic areas, all in an attempt to get unbanned in China, the New York Times reported.

The social media company has taken down posts in countries like Pakistan, Russia and Turkey before, but this new tool takes it one step further by preventing content from appearing in the first place.

Facebook would not be removing the posts themselves, but would outsource the software to a third party. In this case, it would probably be a Chinese company with ties to Beijing. This partner would then have full control to decide what posts show up in a user’s feed.

The tool has gone unused so far, and there is no indication that they have offered it to officials in China, according to the New York Times.

Some employees have even left the company in protest after working on the software.

“We have long said that we are interested in China, and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country,” a Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement.

During a Facebook Q&A in July, Zuckerberg reportedly said, “It’s better for Facebook to be a part of enabling conversation, even it it’s not yet the full conversation.”
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