Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally bowed to the Vietnamese government’s demand that his company’s social media platform censor “anti-state” posts, according to a new report.
Censorship: In late 2020, Zuckerberg agreed to censor posts from anti-government critics in Vietnam following the threat of their government’s ruling Communist Party to take down Facebook in the country, reported The Washington Post.
- His company, since renamed Meta, was faced with the risk of losing an estimated $1 billion in annual revenue if Facebook were to go offline in Vietnam. The country is reportedly the company’s largest source of revenue in Southeast Asia.
- In a statement given to The Post, the company justified their choice of censorship by saying they were ensuring “services remain available for millions of people who rely on them every day.”
- According to the nation’s activists and free-speech advocates, Facebook gave Vietnam’s government control over the platform in time for the country’s party congress selection in January.
- The report states that more than 2,200 posts were blocked between July and December 2020 as compared to a total of 834 in the previous six months.
- In turn with Zuckerberg’s decision, the platform effectively became the Vietnamese government’s hunting grounds for pro-democracy activists and environmental groups, with users landing in jail for “even mildly critical posts,” according to The Post.
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