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(Economist)   Facebook is against censorship in any way shape or form, except when it does the bidding of murderous autocrats. Hey, Zuckerberg has to eat too   (economist.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Middle East, Syria, Arabic language, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iran, Facebook Community Standards  
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2038 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Jul 2020 at 4:31 AM (16 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-07-08 4:41:37 AM  
Full article,


Facebook has been bending to the will of Arab despots

Jul 4th 2020
5-6 minutes
Fark user imageView Full Size

Activists are finding it hard to stay on the right side of the company's rules

FOR SARIYA AL-BITAR, an architect in Syria's war-torn city of Idlib, the message was devastating. "Your account has been permanently disabled for not following our Facebook Community Standards," read the note from the social-media giant. "Unfortunately, we won't be able to reactivate it for any reason." Fourteen years of family photos, reminiscences and his diary of Syria's civil war-along with his list of 30,000 followers-were erased. Mr Bitar had tried to be careful. He had not called dead rebels shahids (martyrs) or posted gore. He suspects Facebook silenced him for commemorating a Syrian football star who, after months of protesting, picked up arms and was killed by the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

In a region ruled by despots, Facebook claims to give "free expression maximum possible range". That has won it a vast following. The platform has more users in the Gulf states than anywhere else in the world, relative to the population. It is the main source of news for many Arabs. Some even credit it for the Arab spring protests of 2011. But since going public in 2012, Facebook has grown more mindful of the authoritarians who provide it with access, say critics, and less hospitable to activists. In recent months it has culled hundreds of users from Tunisia to Iran and deleted hundreds of thousands of posts. "Many people feel that Facebook is no longer a platform they can use to hold the powerful to account," says Marwa Fatafta of Access Now, a pressure group. Add to that Facebook's challenges in America, where it has lost a slew of advertisers over its failure to police hateful content.

Size is part of the problem. Facebook has 2.7bn users, many of whom write in foreign languages. Their posts are vetted for hate speech and incitement. But the firm's 15,000 content moderators struggle to cope. Most do not know Arabic and its dialects. So the firm relies on automated filters, which make mistakes. They screen flagged words, but cannot detect cultural nuance or satire. Facebook rarely explains why it deletes content. "Despite a huge number of users in the global south, they are largely excluded from the conversation," says Wafa Ben-Hassine, a Tunisian-American human-rights lawyer.

Facebook is bound by American law, which counts some key players in the Middle East as terrorists. Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hizbullah, Hamas and a raft of other armed Islamist groups are banned. Occasionally American media outlets give members of these groups airtime, but Facebook has a rigid interpretation of the law against aiding and abetting terrorists. More troubling is how it bans people sympathetic to these groups-or removes content that simply refers to them. Even Hizbullah's opponents spell the militia's name with a space between each letter to prevent Facebook deleting their posts.

Arab governments have passed laws against cybercrime and online terrorism to cow social-media firms and their users. Facebook "tries to comply" with local codes. It has opened an office in Dubai to liaise with officials in the region. "Digital platforms try as much as they can to collaborate with regulators to avoid the consequences of violating local regulations," says a Gulf official. Dissidents concur.

Governments use more subtle forms of pressure, too. They have threatened to tax Facebook's in-country earnings and lean on advertisers. Many also operate electronic armies to bombard Facebook with content, often complaining about opposition groups. A watchdog backed by Israel called Act.IL claims to have 15,000 "online volunteers" from 73 countries keeping an eye on the platform. As a result, say critics, Facebook screens content by Palestinians far more vigorously than posts by Israelis.

In an effort to restore user confidence, the firm recently deleted hundreds of fake accounts promoted by Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt. In May it unveiled a new oversight board which will act as its "supreme court". It will hear appeals and monitor government websites for incitement. "Official terrorist designations will not necessarily be binding on us, especially when they come from authoritarian governments that misuse terrorism to abuse opponents," says Tawakkol Karman, a Yemeni journalist and Nobel laureate who is one of two board members from the Middle East. More such thinking is needed.
 
2020-07-08 4:42:14 AM  
Information distribution is power. Censorship is an attempt to modulate someone else's power.

This can be good and it can be evil. And, that evil can come in many flavors.

Some of those flavors would be not know about BLM.
Do I want to silence BLM to avoid hearing antiVax or flat Earth b.s.?
At end of the day free speech is more important than not hearing an unpopular opinion or ugly people finding each other.

That said, Facebook needs to apply their own crap evenly. But they can't because they operate in other nations. Maybe they should not? But, we can't force them to not. Except by no longer doing business with Facebook.
 
2020-07-08 4:47:28 AM  
Eat what? ABoD?
 
2020-07-08 6:56:10 AM  

waxbeans: At end of the day free speech is more important than not hearing an unpopular opinion or ugly people finding each other.


Editing and curation on a private platform are not free speech issues. Newspapers don't have to run every stupid letter to the editor that gets submitted.

Of course, it does raise questions of why internet companies are not held to the same standard as newspapers in terms of liability.
 
2020-07-08 7:13:33 AM  
"Facebook has 2.7bn users"

If you're dumb enough to believe that then you're dumb enough to be on Facebook. No way 1/3 of the population of the world is on there.
 
2020-07-08 7:14:48 AM  

waxbeans: Information distribution is power. Censorship is an attempt to modulate someone else's power.

This can be good and it can be evil. And, that evil can come in many flavors.

Some of those flavors would be not know about BLM.
Do I want to silence BLM to avoid hearing antiVax or flat Earth b.s.?
At end of the day free speech is more important than not hearing an unpopular opinion or ugly people finding each other.

That said, Facebook needs to apply their own crap evenly. But they can't because they operate in other nations. Maybe they should not? But, we can't force them to not. Except by no longer doing business with Facebook.


Um, why can't we have BLM without the anti-vax lies? One is real and one is not.
 
2020-07-08 7:20:18 AM  
Wait, are you saying that Zuckerburg is full of shiat?

I'm gonna need my fainting futon.
 
2020-07-08 7:28:19 AM  

waxbeans: Information distribution is power. Censorship is an attempt to modulate someone else's power.

This can be good and it can be evil. And, that evil can come in many flavors.

Some of those flavors would be not know about BLM.
Do I want to silence BLM to avoid hearing antiVax or flat Earth b.s.?
At end of the day free speech is more important than not hearing an unpopular opinion or ugly people finding each other.

That said, Facebook needs to apply their own crap evenly. But they can't because they operate in other nations. Maybe they should not? But, we can't force them to not. Except by no longer doing business with Facebook.


That's one hell of a false dichotomy, but Free Speech is not the issue here.  Values are.   And Facebook has telegraphed those values over and over again -- they prioritize their profits over violence and disinformation on their platform.
 
2020-07-08 7:56:31 AM  
If you use Facebook you are farking cancer.
 
2020-07-08 8:00:26 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-07-08 8:01:19 AM  
Facebook has two choices:

1) run a censored network following national laws
2) get shut down completely by that country

Which do you want? There isn't a 3) Zuckerberg says "fark you, Assad" and leaves this stuff up there and people can see it. Syria will just block it in their firewalls.

And everyone does this. Apple remove apps from the app store in China around Hong Kong freedom, Gwen Stefani will cover up to comply with Malaysia's modesty laws when she plays there, bands who complain about trans toilet laws in the USA won't utter a peep when they're playing in Dubai where homosexuality is banned. And I doubt the Economist would leave this in their issue when selling in Damascus.
 
2020-07-08 8:04:09 AM  

farkeruk: Facebook has two choices:

1) run a censored network following national laws
2) get shut down completely by that country

Which do you want? There isn't a 3) Zuckerberg says "fark you, Assad" and leaves this stuff up there and people can see it. Syria will just block it in their firewalls.

And everyone does this. Apple remove apps from the app store in China around Hong Kong freedom, Gwen Stefani will cover up to comply with Malaysia's modesty laws when she plays there, bands who complain about trans toilet laws in the USA won't utter a peep when they're playing in Dubai where homosexuality is banned. And I doubt the Economist would leave this in their issue when selling in Damascus.


Wanna bet about the Economist?
The issue might get pulled by the regime but they are not censoring their content
 
2020-07-08 8:10:13 AM  
Just delete your account.  Some day a new app will come along and in 10 years fb will be Myspace.
 
2020-07-08 8:14:44 AM  

farkeruk: Facebook has two choices:

1) run a censored network following national laws
2) get shut down completely by that country

Which do you want? There isn't a 3) Zuckerberg says "fark you, Assad" and leaves this stuff up there and people can see it. Syria will just block it in their firewalls.

And everyone does this. Apple remove apps from the app store in China around Hong Kong freedom, Gwen Stefani will cover up to comply with Malaysia's modesty laws when she plays there, bands who complain about trans toilet laws in the USA won't utter a peep when they're playing in Dubai where homosexuality is banned. And I doubt the Economist would leave this in their issue when selling in Damascus.


So what you're saying is that they're all whores?
 
2020-07-08 8:21:40 AM  

Shaggy_C: waxbeans: At end of the day free speech is more important than not hearing an unpopular opinion or ugly people finding each other.

Editing and curation on a private platform are not free speech issues. Newspapers don't have to run every stupid letter to the editor that gets submitted.

Of course, it does raise questions of why internet companies are not held to the same standard as newspapers in terms of liability.


The difference between a publisher and a platform. I think facebook will start facing some regulation. The more they stay hands off, the easier it is to claim we're a platform.

Im for limiting your reach on facebook, but not for limiting speach. Set a bar for advertising and such.
 
2020-07-08 8:30:07 AM  

farkeruk: Facebook has two choices:

1) run a censored network following national laws
2) get shut down completely by that country

Which do you want? There isn't a 3) Zuckerberg says "fark you, Assad" and leaves this stuff up there and people can see it. Syria will just block it in their firewalls.

And everyone does this. Apple remove apps from the app store in China around Hong Kong freedom, Gwen Stefani will cover up to comply with Malaysia's modesty laws when she plays there, bands who complain about trans toilet laws in the USA won't utter a peep when they're playing in Dubai where homosexuality is banned. And I doubt the Economist would leave this in their issue when selling in Damascus.


If number one leads your site  to becoming a tool for murderers, fascists and despots that want nothing else out of life than to subjugate their people, rob them blind and, should they resist, execute them then number 2 is the only answer.

As for firewalls, if someone can build one, someone else can break it.

Apple has always only been about the money.  Jobs was a world caliber a-hole and his legacy lives on.  Anyone who supports apple should STFU about Trump, because a President like Trump is the Apple management's wet dream.  Same goes for the bands and the Economist.  Hypocrites should not be rewarded, let alone celebrated.

Gwen Stefani covering up won't get anyone killed.

Facebook doesn't give a crap about anything but power and money.  In that order.
 
2020-07-08 8:41:17 AM  
scanman61:So what you're saying is that they're all whores?

They drop their panties for money.  What else would you call them?
 
2020-07-08 9:30:33 AM  

Shaggy_C: waxbeans: At end of the day free speech is more important than not hearing an unpopular opinion or ugly people finding each other.

Editing and curation on a private platform are not free speech issues. Newspapers don't have to run every stupid letter to the editor that gets submitted.

Of course, it does raise questions of why internet companies are not held to the same standard as newspapers in terms of liability.


🙄

Okay Boomer.
LOL
.
On a serious level.
Facebook is a victim of it's success.
It's too huge to just let it act like a private entity.
Nope.


Failure of you to see that, doesn't change the fact.
Their too huge. And can actually make speech truly free. This is a massive chance for humanity. To leave it to rot at the mercy of money or the market or fascist governments is stupid on a level I should not have to explain to any one with a heart 💓 beat.
 
2020-07-08 9:31:14 AM  

Brofar: "Facebook has 2.7bn users"

If you're dumb enough to believe that then you're dumb enough to be on Facebook. No way 1/3 of the population of the world is on there.


🤔
I don't know having an account and being on regularly are two different things
 
2020-07-08 9:32:44 AM  

Brofar: waxbeans: Information distribution is power. Censorship is an attempt to modulate someone else's power.

This can be good and it can be evil. And, that evil can come in many flavors.

Some of those flavors would be not know about BLM.
Do I want to silence BLM to avoid hearing antiVax or flat Earth b.s.?
At end of the day free speech is more important than not hearing an unpopular opinion or ugly people finding each other.

That said, Facebook needs to apply their own crap evenly. But they can't because they operate in other nations. Maybe they should not? But, we can't force them to not. Except by no longer doing business with Facebook.

Um, why can't we have BLM without the anti-vax lies? One is real and one is not.


But, people are free to present facts countering any misinformation.
they're just too lazy to present that information or too busy to present information or too tired to present that information.
this is no different than the rich people deciding  the kids on the poor side of Town don't need to be educated.
 
2020-07-08 9:35:11 AM  

DarnoKonrad: .

That's one hell of a false dichotomy, but Free Speech is not the issue here.  Values are.   And Facebook has telegraphed those values over and over again -- they prioritize their profits over violence and disinformation on their platform.


Sure. But, being a greedy cuck isn't illegal.
And, we let companies effect elections.
Society isn't keeping up with how the world had changed.
Ketchup.
We're the tomato about to get kicked my papa tomato.
 
2020-07-08 9:37:20 AM  

farkeruk: Facebook has two choices:

1) run a censored network following national laws
2) get shut down completely by that country

Which do you want? There isn't a 3) Zuckerberg says "fark you, Assad" and leaves this stuff up there and people can see it. Syria will just block it in their firewalls.

And everyone does this. Apple remove apps from the app store in China around Hong Kong freedom, Gwen Stefani will cover up to comply with Malaysia's modesty laws when she plays there, bands who complain about trans toilet laws in the USA won't utter a peep when they're playing in Dubai where homosexuality is banned. And I doubt the Economist would leave this in their issue when selling in Damascus.


Exactly.

So live with how others make their rent or stop giving them your money.
That is all anyone has now.
 
2020-07-08 9:38:04 AM  

scanman61: farkeruk: Facebook has two choices:

1) run a censored network following national laws
2) get shut down completely by that country

Which do you want? There isn't a 3) Zuckerberg says "fark you, Assad" and leaves this stuff up there and people can see it. Syria will just block it in their firewalls.

And everyone does this. Apple remove apps from the app store in China around Hong Kong freedom, Gwen Stefani will cover up to comply with Malaysia's modesty laws when she plays there, bands who complain about trans toilet laws in the USA won't utter a peep when they're playing in Dubai where homosexuality is banned. And I doubt the Economist would leave this in their issue when selling in Damascus.

So what you're saying is that they're all whores?


Every gots rent, man.
 
2020-07-08 9:48:57 AM  

scanman61: So what you're saying is that they're all whores?


Actually, realists. There's battles worth fighting with oppressive governments or using tech to bypass their control, but you can't win here. If you're a voluntary group running your own anti-Assad website, it's going to get blocked pretty sharpish.

But I actually think something getting through is better than nothing. Censorship isn't actually that effective with the internet. It isn't like the old days where you needed a radio station or a printing press which had high costs and could be smashed up. It's cheap and distributed among millions. If they catch one person, there's still thousands out there.It's like a game of whack-a-mole on a massive scale.

If you want to fix this problem, work on things like decentralised mesh internet with wireless routers distributing messages. Or telling people to stop buying farking iPhones and buy Android phones that allow sideloading.
 
2020-07-08 9:52:24 AM  

John the Magnificent: If number one leads your site  to becoming a tool for murderers, fascists and despots that want nothing else out of life than to subjugate their people, rob them blind and, should they resist, execute them then number 2 is the only answer.


Which has precisely the same effect. Whether you choose 1) or 2), anti-Assad news doesn't get through. But at least with 1) the people of Syria can do things like share family photos.
 
2020-07-08 10:35:45 AM  

FarkaDark: farkeruk: Facebook has two choices:

1) run a censored network following national laws
2) get shut down completely by that country

Which do you want? There isn't a 3) Zuckerberg says "fark you, Assad" and leaves this stuff up there and people can see it. Syria will just block it in their firewalls.

And everyone does this. Apple remove apps from the app store in China around Hong Kong freedom, Gwen Stefani will cover up to comply with Malaysia's modesty laws when she plays there, bands who complain about trans toilet laws in the USA won't utter a peep when they're playing in Dubai where homosexuality is banned. And I doubt the Economist would leave this in their issue when selling in Damascus.

Wanna bet about the Economist?
The issue might get pulled by the regime but they are not censoring their content


Came here to say this. In the years I've been reading, basically the only times they don't run an article is when it's full illegal in that country, and then usually with a placeholder saying you can read the article online at (url) if you want.
 
2020-07-08 10:39:40 AM  
OK I gotta ask, and I have every confidence that Fark will answer: Who's the biggest a-hole, Zuck, Musk, or Bezos? Additional nominations welcome. Show your work.
 
2020-07-08 10:46:36 AM  

allears: OK I gotta ask, and I have every confidence that Fark will answer: Who's the biggest a-hole, Zuck, Musk, or Bezos? Additional nominations welcome. Show your work.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-07-08 11:01:33 AM  

allears: OK I gotta ask, and I have every confidence that Fark will answer: Who's the biggest a-hole, Zuck, Musk, or Bezos? Additional nominations welcome. Show your work.


Musk. Zuck and Bezos at least keep their farking mouths shut usually.
 
2020-07-08 11:45:58 AM  
You know who else bends over for Arab autocrats?
 
2020-07-08 12:00:39 PM  
th.bing.comView Full Size

You expect this guy to care about your rights?
 
2020-07-08 3:21:52 PM  

farkeruk: scanman61: So what you're saying is that they're all whores?

Actually, realists. There's battles worth fighting with oppressive governments or using tech to bypass their control, but you can't win here. If you're a voluntary group running your own anti-Assad website, it's going to get blocked pretty sharpish.g.


No, whores.

See, is f they weren't whores they wouldn't bend over for those regimes in order to get access to their markets.

The company's ethics...

are adjustable...

for money.


Whores
 
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