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.
Featured Image via CNET
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