After all, why should anyone be surprised by that recent report alluding to the potential of Facebook supporting Chinese censorship of their News Feed? Facebook thinks that fake news isn’t a problem. When Mark Zuckerberg says his goal is to connect the world, he means it. Facebook's ambition isn't just to get every breathing being on its platform, but to ensure everyone has internet access in the first place—so that they can use Facebook. Earlier this year, it tested a huge drone capable of beaming internet access to areas of the world lacking it. And not just internet access, but a particular sort of internet access: Theirs. The UN even once issued a report labeling internet access a "human right." The issue, here, is that Facebook has developed a supremely powerful technology littered with problems it won't take responsibility for. And we are serious about building planes to beam internet access, but we don't call ourselves an aerospace company. All the social network wants to do is build toys and grow.
Facebook doesn’t care. You know this.
After all, why should anyone be surprised by that recent report alluding to the potential of Facebook supporting Chinese censorship of their News Feed? They want to make inroads into China, where the service is currently banned. China is a huge potential market for them. The social network is a machine, and human users are its grist.
We’re there to create data that increases the platform’s value. And the nature of that data—whether it’s a pictures of an infant, or a fake news post influencing someone’s vote—is secondary.
Even as Facebook figures out how to calm Americans who fear the spread of propaganda on its platform, on Tuesday, we learned about their apparent calculations as to how it might censor Chinese users, in order to appease their government.
“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,” Mike Isaac of the New York Times reported.
Facebook didn’t deny any details of the report in a statement to Mashable.
For those keeping score, you’ll note: Facebook allows a wide mass of its users the freedom to spread fake news (which they won’t regulate), while simultaneously working to prevent another group from sharing actual news.
Needless to say, that set off a few alarm bells.
Facebook thinks that fake news isn’t a problem. Apparently they’re convinced that real news is: https://t.co/0b8SkRYLTj
— Michael Moyer (@mmoyr) November 23, 2016
— Alex Fitzpatrick (@AlexJamesFitz) November 22, 2016
The only was this is even remotely surprising to you is if you believe Facebook is a company that puts ideals before growth. And that would be surprising to anyone who’s paid attention to what Facebook does, as opposed to what they say they do. As a company, Facebook demonstrates consistently that it is not a company with ideals. Or rather, one whose core ideal is growth.
When Mark Zuckerberg says his goal is to connect the world, he means it. Facebook’s ambition isn’t…