Facebook develops censorship tool to hide posts about prohibited topics from Chinese users

Facebook develops censorship tool to hide posts about prohibited topics from Chinese users

In a report published on Tuesday, the New York Times has revealed that a censorship tool has been built by social network Facebook, to get into China by hiding posts about prohibited topics from its users in the country.

The censorship tool has been quietly developed by Facebook in an attempt to persuade the Chinese authorities to permit the social network to re-enter the country after a seven-year ban. Facebook’s move to develop the censorship tool implies that the company wants to remain unbanned in China.

According to the NY Times report, based on the information shared by Facebook’s former and current employees, the censorship tool has been built by Facebook with the support of its CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The tool basically suppresses posts from showing up in users’ news feeds in particular regions.

The report has also revealed that Facebook would not suppress posts itself. Instead, it would potentially provide the tool to a third-party in China, like a local partner company. The tool would apparently be used by the third-party company to ensure that Chinese users cannot see the posts which violate the governmental regulations.

In other words, the censorship tool will enable Facebook’s partner company in China to monitor popular Facebook posts and topics which gain visibility when shared by users across the network. The partner company would have full control to ascertain whether those posts should appear in Chinese users' feeds.



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