Skip to Content

Censorship may gain Facebook entry into China and hand Merkel a fourth term

Facebook has reportedly built a software tool for China to censor users as a first step to re-enter the Chinese market. The report also stated that it would be outsourcing censorship duties to a third-party company.

Published: November 23, 2016, 5:45 pm

    Read more

    According to a report in the New York Times, Facebook developed software which erases unwanted posts geographically after Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, met with China’s propaganda chief Liu Yunshan in March to discuss a re-entry of his company in China where it has been banned since 2009.

    China kicked out the website following the Urumqi riots in July 2009 under efforts to limit the flow of information about ethnic unrest.

    The new tool would prevent posts from ever being included in the News Feed, the newspaper added. Facebook is eyeing China, with its 1.3 billion residents as a source of enormously lucrative potential growth.

    Earlier this month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company was building new tools to censor “fake news” also called “hyper-partisan propaganda” in order to promote “a diversity of information”.

    But the new censorship tool would essentially allow for the manipulation of public opinion, preventing users from posting offending articles while towing the party line – hardly a contribution to “diverse” viewpoints.

    According to the Times report, several employees have already walked out in protest. Google, Twitter and YouTube are also banned in China.

    Meanwhile the country in the EU “with the least populism” as a result of vigorously legislating free speech, on Wednesday vowed to fight “hate speech” on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google’s YouTube.

    Under a program that runs until March, German authorities are monitoring how many anti-migrant posts are deleted within 24 hours. Justice Minister Heiko Maas has pledged to take legislative measures if the results are “unsatisfactory” by then. Designated “victims”, immigrants, must be protected from ideas that would hurt their feelings, according to German authorities.

    “I support efforts by Justice Minister Heiko Maas and Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere to address hate speech, hate commentaries, devastating things that are incompatible with human dignity, and to do everything to prohibit it because it contradicts our values,” Angela Merkel said in a speech to the Bundestag lower house of parliament, clearly in the hope that heightened government censorship would save her bid for a fourth term.

    In September 2015 Merkel was caught on an open mike, asking Facebook CEO Zuckerberg if he would help suppress “anti-immigration” postings… and he replied that he was already working on it.

    karin.bredenkamp@freewestmedia.com

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    Perceptions of the US’s role in global security are changing

    MunichPerceptions of the US's role in global security are changing, because according to a Gallup poll, citizens of four NATO nations believe Russia would defend them rather than the United States, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

    Wilders to make rare public appearance for campaign start

    RotterdamSecurity will have their hands full as Geert Wilders starts his election campaign today in Spijkenisse, a suburb of the Freedom Party stronghold of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

    French media mum after attack on Korean tourists in Paris

    ParisThe Korean embassy has issued a warning to tourists who want to visit Paris, after a bus transporting visitors was attacked by black and Arab youths in Seine-Saint-Denis, an immigrant neighbourhood, the South Korean agency Yonap reported.

    Danish journalist Iben Thranholm: ‘Does this make me a Russian agent?’

    INTERVIEWThe Danish journalist Iben Thranholm is branded as a “pro-Russian propagandist” by EU task force EastStracom.

    Five Parisian areas turned into no-go zones as rioters shout ‘Allahu Akbar’

    ParisAt least five suburbs in the north of Paris have become no-go zones as France struggles with renewed immigrant violence. Rioters shouted 'Allahu Akbar' during continuing violent protests last night where a car was set on fire.

    NATO has become obsolete because it no longer enhances security

    President Donald Trump has once again highlighted the question of Europe’s relationship with NATO, as the alliance had only a single purpose previously: to protect Western Europe from a Soviet invasion.

    Swiss vote easier naturalisation for third-generation immigrants

    On Sunday Swiss voters made it easier for third-generation immigrants to become citizens of their country.

    Global ratings agencies spooked by possible Le Pen victory

    Leaving the euro zone, is one of the promises on which Marine Le Pen has based her party the Front National's economic strategy.

    Racial riots hit France once again

    ParisThe arrest of a black male has triggered several nights of racially charged riots in France. The unrest shows that non-white youths in the country's suburbs see an opportunity to enhance their political bargaining power.

    French military reserve refuses Marion Maréchal-Le Pen

    ParisMarion Maréchal-Le Pen, who had asked in July - after the assassination by jihadists of Father Hamel in a church - to be incorporated into the military reserve, has just been denied entry on the grounds that a legal provision precludes the recruitment of a parliamentarian.

    Go to archive