Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Facebook Reportedly Created a Censorship Tool to Get Back Into China

Mike Isaac, New York Times (autoplaying video warning):

The social network has quietly developed software to suppress posts from appearing in people’s news feeds in specific geographic areas, according to three current and former Facebook employees, who asked for anonymity because the tool is confidential. The feature was created to help Facebook get into China, a market where the social network has been blocked, these people said. Mr. Zuckerberg has supported and defended the effort, the people added.


Facebook does not intend to suppress the posts itself. Instead, it would offer the software to enable a third party — in this case, most likely a partner Chinese company — to monitor popular stories and topics that bubble up as users share them across the social network, the people said. Facebook’s partner would then have full control to decide whether those posts should show up in users’ feeds.

So Facebook has the ability and determination to build a tool like this to suppress news in some countries for political reasons, but can’t be bothered to build something similar to filter out fake news articles that undermine discourse in countries with a free press?