Facebook has developed software that blocks posts to appease the Chinese government, according to whistleblowers.
(CCM) — Facebook is carrying out a secret project to develop censoring software that blocks posts from appearing on news feeds in China, according to a report in the New York Times. The software has been developed to enable Facebook to operate in China, according to three current and former Facebook employees quoted in the report. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, "supported and defended the effort," according to the New York Times. It adds that, while Facebook does not intend to use the software itself to suppress posts in China, it would be prepared to offer it to a Chinese company that would then have the power to decide which posts should not show up on Chinese users' feeds.
There is no suggestion that Facebook has made the software available in China to date, but a Facebook spokeswoman is quoted as saying: "We have long said that we are interested in China and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country." Facebook has restricted content in countries including Pakistan, Russia, and Turkey in the past, according to the report. In total, Facebook has blocked about 55,000 pieces of content after it has been posted in 20 countries between July and December 2015, it adds. Chinese authorities have made Facebook unavailable to local internet users since 2009.
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