Facebook Censors Critic of Communist Chinese Regime

A Chinese exile telling stories of government corruption finds that Facebook censors on behalf of that government.

If Facebook censors for the Chinese communists what will they do for the United States or the Western European nations? I agree, of course, that social media companies have an obligation to cooperate with efforts to deal with libel in all countries. But that is primarily an issue for the courts to deal with. If Facebook censors a customer simply because a government demands that it do so, it has become an extension of that government’s tyranny.

The New York Times reports, “Facebook Blocks Chinese Billionaire Who Tells Tales of Corruption.

A Chinese billionaire living in virtual exile in New York, Guo Wengui has riled China’s leaders with his sometimes outlandish tales of deep corruption among family members of top Communist Party officials.

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On Saturday, his tales proved too much for one of his favorite platforms for broadcasting those accusations: Facebook.

The social media network said it had blocked a profile under Mr. Guo’s name and taken down another page associated with him. Facebook said the content on both pages had included someone else’s personal identifiable information, which violates its terms of service.

Facebook investigated the accounts after receiving a complaint, according to a spokeswoman.

“We want people to feel free to share and connect on Facebook, as well as to feel safe, so we don’t allow people to publish the personal information of others without their consent,” the spokeswoman, Charlene Chian, said. She declined to say who had complained.

Mr. Guo did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The profile under Mr. Guo’s name was not verified.

The move comes at a sensitive time for both the Chinese government and Facebook.

Read the full New York Times story.

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About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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