Patterico's Pontifications


Facebook: Then And Now

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:49 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Then: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg right after the Charlie Hedbo attacks:

A few years ago, an extremist in Pakistan fought to have me sentenced to death because Facebook refused to ban content about Mohammed that offended him.

We stood up for this because different voices — even if they’re sometimes offensive — can make the world a better and more interesting place.

Facebook has always been a place where people across the world share their views and ideas. We follow the laws in each country, but we never let one country or group of people dictate what people can share across the world.

Yet as I reflect on yesterday’s attack and my own experience with extremism, this is what we all need to reject — a group of extremists trying to silence the voices and opinions of everyone else around the world.

I won’t let that happen on Facebook. I’m committed to building a service where you can speak freely without fear of violence.

My thoughts are with the victims, their families, the people of France and the people all over the world who choose to share their views and ideas, even when that takes courage. ‪#‎JeSuisCharlie‬

Now: Censoring pictures of Mohammed:

[F]acebook has complied with a Turkish court order demanding the blocking of a page it said offended the Prophet Muhammad.

If the social media platform had refused, the court had threatened to block access to the entire site.

The site is believed to have around 40 million members in Turkey.

Facebook declined to comment but it does have a policy of blocking access to content within a country if it breaks local law.

From an insider:

A person familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak publicly confirmed to the Post that Facebook had acted to “block content so that it’s no longer visible in Turkey following a valid legal request.”

In less than a month, Zuckerberg (and Facebook) went from a #Je Suis Charlie champion of free speech to straight-up censorship.

The question of why Zuckerberg would choose to practice that which he condemned a short while ago instead of refusing to censor as ordered and be blacked out or pull out of the country altogether was addressed by Zuckerberg himself:

This gets to the heart of our mission. We want to help connect everyone and give people a voice. A government passing a law that you can’t say something is one barrier against people having a voice.

We try to push back whenever we get requests to block something. We review every request to make sure it’s within the law.

I can’t think of many examples in history when a company not shutting down in the face of a law and getting banned helped change that law. But continuing to operate can help the country in other ways, such as allowing people to connect with loved ones, learn, and find jobs. So I think overwhelmingly our responsibility is to continue operating.

He also stated that pulling out of a country like Turkey wouldn’t impact him that much financially as there are already countries the company does not do business in. Yet, if that’s so, then what has he got to lose by standing firm on his #Je Suis Charlie credo? Why not be consistent so people won’t suspect you as being a sellout? But perhaps it’s a bit too late for any assumed altruism:

Censoring images at the request of a government notorious for punishing dissenting and offensive speech—a government led by a man who considers social media sites evil—is about keeping Facebook’s sense of responsibility to its shareholders, who want market growth and revenue, not about adopting an ameliorative censorship policy to help people in Turkey communicate.

And for the record, the old adage, where there’s a will, there’s a way was never more true than when Twitter was banned in Turkey and unsurprisingly, the social media’s site traffic from the country increased. Go figure.


28 Responses to “Facebook: Then And Now”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (8e74ce)

  2. Money, it’s a hit
    Don’t give me that free, free speech bulls**t

    I deleted my Facebook account two months ago. Didn’t want to have anything to do with those faggot no more.

    nk (dbc370)

  3. yes yes

    what Mr. nk said.

    happyfeet (831175)

  4. It’s amazing how quickly and easily champions of free speech are swayed when they look at the bottom line. I can understand fear, we all would have some level of it if we were in such a public position and willfully chose to defy the ruling of a country we were doing business in. However, given that it’s Turkey, which has a history of making censorship demands of social media, I don’t think his fear would be of personal harm coming to him , but instead it would appear it’s fear of his shareholders.

    Dana (8e74ce)

  5. Of course it’s not just Zuckerberg whose #Je Suis Charlie morphed into a scolding #Je ne suis pas charlie.

    Dana (8e74ce)

  6. Gee whiz. FB is worth 200 billion dollars.

    Dana (8e74ce)

  7. Proudly without FB since 1944…. Yes, proudly.

    The hard part is that I cannot quit it when this stuff happens.

    Gramps, the original [Raider fan] (9e1415)

  8. Zuckerberg is a traitorous bastard.
    Deport the commie fuc.

    mg (31009b)

  9. Dana, did you not understand Zuckerberg’s statement or are you purposely misconstruing it?

    He said clearly that he would not let extremists silence voices on Facebook:

    Yet as I reflect on yesterday’s attack and my own experience with extremism, this is what we all need to reject — a group of extremists trying to silence the voices and opinions of everyone else around the world.

    I won’t let that happen on Facebook. I’m committed to building a service where you can speak freely without fear of violence.

    An order from a Turkish court is not an order from extremists, nor is it a threat of violence. It is a matter of Turkish law.

    Are you up in arms yelling censorship because Facebook will not share child pornography that people might post?

    Gil (27c98f)

  10. ==An order from a Turkish court is not an order from extremists==

    Looks to me like it is.

    elissa (324560)

  11. Gil, how can I tell you from the other clowns??? Shoes????

    Gus (7cc192)

  12. Generally, I’ve found that people these days; the more they have to lose
    the more moral cowards they become. We’re too comfortable in this country.
    We’re afraid of deprivation. Of being deprived of our comforts.

    Note I say comforts and not necessities.

    It’s why PC speech mobs have us tied in knots; no one wants to risk discomfort from
    the loss of their job, or to discomfort their family over words or pictures.

    But words are symbols in more ways than one.

    We’re no longer the land of the free. Home of the brave.

    jakee308 (f0aa61)

  13. I just had an incident with my Facebook account> Preface; I don’t remember setting the page up but there it is laying dormant. Every once in a while it sends me a “poke” via email caught in the spam filter.
    So I get this “poke” follow the link and it’s some people I went to school with wishing me a happy birthday. Kind of touching and sweet, but these aren’t people who would know when my birthday was or would have cared to send a sentiment, unless they were informed via an automated “poke” of their own.

    The day after that I get a “poke” from someone I actually do know, a cousin from out of state, informing me that it’s his birthday. So I click over and scroll through ten or twenty posts wishing Bry a happy birthday, and it occures to me, this isn’t Bry’s b-day. We were born a month apart.
    So leave a note of discord. “Bry what’s up with this? Your bday used to be such and such.”
    He comes back with “I’m trying to avoid identity theft and you blew it for me damnit”.
    Facebook – family arguments without the hassle of thanksgiving dinner.

    Facebook – handy directory for cyber theives


    Facebook – where people gather to lie to each other for fear the truth will be held against them, and everyone’s birthday falls in January

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  14. So I’m thinking OK we’ll just go back and delete the offending comment. How many people would have seen it? Not more than a dozen “friends” right?
    Can’t delete it.

    There is no mechanism for cleaning up a facebook comment.

    F**K Zuck. He doesn’t care about people in the real world. IF he pretends to care for a minute it’s an etchscetch minute.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  15. Facebook – family arguments without the hassle of thanksgiving dinner.
    lmao with my first cup of coffee.

    mg (31009b)

  16. …offended the Prophet Muhammed?”

    Wait…isn’t he sorta….dead? How do you offend a dead person?

    Steve B (867a1f)

  17. You ask a very insightful question. Islam claims to be strictly monotheistic. But it’s not, Steve. Islam makes Muhammad into a god, too. For instance:

    Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment,

    I could cite numerous verses that show Muslims place Muhammad on equal footing with Allah. Muslims are shocked and offended when you point this out. But it’s indisputable when you look at it. The profession of faith even talks about two beings, not one.

    If Muhammad were only a man who is dead he couldn’t be offended. But Muhammad can be offended. He’s not dead. He is a living god.

    Steve57 (a04df5)

  18. I don’t like Facebook’s move either, but it isn’t a change in policy, either.

    “We follow the laws in each country, but we never let one country or group of people dictate what people can share across the world.”

    That clearly means Turkey can get Facebook to censor something in Turkey, but not in the rest of the world.

    David Pittelli (b77425)

  19. Someone is shocked that a child of privilege who is now a multi-billion has no Value or Principles?

    Not me, likely takes all of 60 seconds with Zuck to know he is a douche bag of no human worth.

    But, sure, he is bright and rich. But so are many people with no human value.

    Rodney King's Spirit (69985e)

  20. you could have fooled me:

    narciso (ee1f88)

  21. …Heading a Hamas delegation, he took part in the annual conference of the Justice and Development Party… – See more at:

    Islamists like to throw the word “justice” around. Morsi’s MB front group in Egypt was named the Freedom and Justice Party. They know gullible Westerners who are trying to convince themselves that Islam is a religion of peace will take the words they use the wrong way. Who can be against freedom and justice, right?

    Except by freedom they mean freedom from man’s law and by justice they mean Allah’s law. So a vote for freedom and justice is a vote kill teenagers for watching a soccer game.

    Steve57 (a04df5)

  22. Suspected Ebola patient in ‘good’ condition at UCD Medical Center in Sacramento.

    Did you ever wonder what sort of steps President Ebola’s czar took to “solve” the Ebola problem?

    This news report highlights exactly what they did.

    Yeah. Like that. A whole bunch of that.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  23. so sick of these stupid anti-vaxxers not getting their ebola shots

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  24. So, he’s a businessman, not a Hero of the Revolution.

    One of us, one of us…

    Patricia (5fc097)

  25. Strange. Facebook has never had any problems with taking down posts about firearms or partial nudity of an adult posted by the adult.

    Some free speech is more free than other free speech, I suppose. I don’t have that quote right.


    ‘All speech is animals are equal, but some speech is animals are more equal than others.’

    I suspect it’s the speaker, not the speech, that’s free.

    htom (4ca1fa)

Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.3733 secs.