-Source-Foriegn Policy- Facebook has reportedly developed software to suppress posts from users feeds in targeted geographic areas a feature created to help the giant social media network gain access to China where it is blocked. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has long been courting Chinas leaders studying Mandarin and talking with Chinese internet executives. How far should he and his company go in order to grow? And at what expense? The ChinaFile Editors Facebook shouldnt do this. Although the tool as described copies some industry norms Facebook would suppress messages inside China but show them outside it comes nowhere near what Beijing would demand for re-entry. At the same time those additional conditions would make any deal not worth the cost either ethical or financial. Though the U.S. press often writes as if the principal goal of Chinese censorship is blocking information from the United States the Chinese Communist Party is far more worried about its own citizens. This is why seemingly innocuous platforms such as Instagram and Tumblr are blocked; it isnt what U.S. teenagers would post that worries the Chinese Cyberspace Administration and those concerns would shape any Facebook deal as well. Hiding selected posts from outside China would not meet the bare minimum of Beijings requirements for citizen surveillance. Facebook would have to keep data on those users on servers in Beijing and grant the government direct access. Offending posts by Chinese users would have to be suppressed worldwide not just in China. (Users in Anqing would not be allowed to share posts about corruption with students in Ann Arbor.)
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