Facebook Is Quietly Working With Governments To Censor Content
Facebook might be telling us that it’s looking to create an “open and connected world”, however it’s been quietly helping governments with their requests for content censorship.
Earlier today, Facebook, said that it was open to ‘considering’ blocking pages and censoring content in Thailand, on the government’s request, after reviewing it on a case by case basis. This statement followed a request by the Thai government to block approximately 600 Facebook pages. A Facebook spokesperson added, “When governments believe that something on the Internet violates their laws, they may contact [us]…when we receive such a request, it is scrutinized to determine if the specified content does indeed violate local laws. If we determine that it does, then we make it unavailable in the relevant country or territory and notify people who try to access it why it is restricted.”
Thailand’s internet service providers (ISP) had asked of Facebook to block 600 pages, as part of an initial 6900 pages that had been ordered to be closed by the Thai court. Thai National Broadcasting & Telecommunications Commission secretary general, Takorn Tantasith, came out in support for Facebook’s decision, calling it “a good sign.” Furthermore, he added, “The response from Facebook was a good sign of future cooperation between local ISPs and the U.S. internet giant.”
But this isn’t the only thing Thailand has a problem with. Last week, a video of the 64 year old monarch of Thailand, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, strolling through a German shopping mall in his crop top became viral on social media. The Thai authorities were quick to jump on the video, blocking it, making it unable to view on Facebook.
Thailand has extremely strict laws which protect its royal family from any criticism. Facebook, in a talk with news outlet, VICE, had made it known that they had indeed blocked its users from Thailand from viewing the video.
This news won’t just be positively received in Thailand, as both Vietnam and China have similar concerns with regards to online content censorship. CEO Zuckerberg, had spoke of the censorship concerns as the social media giant is looking to make its entry into the Asian giant’s economy – China – where it is still blocked.
Facebook has also made it clear, as of last week, that it is willing to work with the Vietnamese government to censor content that the authorities consider is violating content.
Image Source: The Independent