28 Jan 2015

Facebook Begins Censoring Images of Mahound

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The kind of Chalie Hebdo image some people won’t publish.

The Washington Post gleefully pounces on the weasels.

Only two weeks after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a strongly worded #JeSuisCharlie statement on the importance of free speech, Facebook has agreed to censor images of the prophet Muhammad in Turkey — including the very type of image that precipitated the Charlie Hebdo attack.

It’s an illustration, perhaps, of how extremely complicated and nuanced issues of online speech really are. It’s also conclusive proof of what many tech critics said of Zuckerberg’s free-speech declaration at the time: Sweeping promises are all well and good, but Facebook’s record doesn’t entirely back it up.

Just this December, Facebook agreed to censor the page of Russia’s leading Putin critic, Alexei Navalny, at the request of Russian Internet regulators. (It is a sign, the Post’s Michael Birnbaum wrote from Moscow, of “new limits on Facebook’s ability to serve as a platform for political opposition movements.”) Critics have previously accused the site of taking down pages tied to dissidents in Syria and China; the International Campaign for Tibet is currently circulating a petition against alleged Facebook censorship, which has been signed more than 20,000 times.

While Facebook doesn’t technically operate in China, it has made several recent overtures to Chinese politicians and Internet regulators — overtures that signal, if tacitly, an interest in bringing a (highly censored) Facebook to China’s 648 million Internet-users.

Hat tip to Jose Guardia.

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As breaking news: Wednesday January 28 evening, in France, a 8 years old kid has been arrested and put in custody because he said to his teacher, eye to eye, that he doesn’t stand by “Charlie” but for terrorists. His school has filed a complaint against him (no kidding) even though it appears he doesn’t even know what things such as terrorism and muslim terrorists are are looking for, actually. For all I understand on the basis of what French columnists are reporting about this incredible story, it seems that the kid just didn’t want to say the same as all the others in his classroom. But neither him, nor any adults as well, could imagine one minute he would be arrested and be put in custody for this, pending, him and his parents (legally responsibles) now, trial before a court of justice!

It really looks like they are all going crazy in France.

See one of inumerable links about it here (for readers fluent in French, sorry):



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