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Discussion on: Facebook agreed to censor "anti-state" content in Vietnam

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thejessleigh profile image
jess unrein

I think that Facebook has repeatedly demonstrated that it does not have its users best interests at heart, and that it prefers to be on a permanent apology tour rather than devote real effort to fix underlying issues in data usage and public trust. I think there’s reasonable room for argument about whether Google and Apple are better suited to the task, but any study of facebooks history should make one wary of their intentions and capabilities.

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louy2 profile image
Yufan Lou

If anything, Facebook is the most resistant to the authoritarians, because authoritarianism requires breaking connections between people, which goes directly against Facebook's mission. Facebook is only more visible whenever it makes concessions, exactly due to such a glaring contradiction.

Meanwhile, Google and Apple make compromises with authoritarian governments in their supply chains and operating system services with little public attention, but to no less detriment of the citizens under oppression. I do not posit that Facebook is less complicit than Google and Apple, just that Facebook is no more complicit.

In the wild jungle of international politics, no one can look like they "have [their] users best interest at heart". Within the border you have the law of a nation. Across the border, maybe not all bets are off, but a great many are. Marx dreamed of a global Union of individual workers, which ended up in Communist disasters. Trolley problems everywhere. I do not posit that Facebook will solve the freedom of Internet problem. I only posit that absent Facebook, the problem is definitely worse.

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thejessleigh profile image
jess unrein

I’m really not interested in arguing with you about Facebook good vs Facebook bad via abstract assertions. I’ve looked at the record and fervently disagree that Facebook has proven effectively resilient against authoritarianism and fascism. I expressed my opinion about Facebook in response to a specifically worded question about a particular news story regarding their actions. You were the first to bring up google and apple in this thread. Not sure why you’re stanning Facebook in my mentions. I don’t think debating the current reality we have versus your headcanon of what a world without Facebook might look like us either useful or entertaining. I think Facebook has been irresponsible and continues to be, and I’m glad not to use their products. YMMV /shrug

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louy2 profile image
Yufan Lou

I’m really not interested in arguing with you about Facebook good vs Facebook bad via abstract assertions. I’ve looked at the record and fervently disagree that Facebook has proven effectively resilient against authoritarianism and fascism.

I don't either. My point is not "Facebook good". My point is there are more to the context of the records you have looked, which I think you should care about. I don't disagree that "Facebook has [not] proven effectively resilient against authoritarianism and fascism". Being the "most" doesn't mean effective. But if even the "most" is not effective, then what is? I am sorry I appeared confrontational. I want to invite you to think what's beyond the criticism. I have deactivated my Facebook accounts, used various alternatives, tried to get others off, to no avail. I have since become curious about what it actually takes to dethrone Facebook, only to find it a much bigger problem than privacy and technology.

I don’t think debating the current reality we have versus your headcanon of what a world without Facebook might look like us either useful or entertaining.

Because pertaining to the people in Vietnam and Facebook, this is exactly the pressure the government has put on them: with Facebook or without Facebook. Since you do not like the compromise Facebook has made, what do you think will happen if Facebook does not compromise? Will Vietnam government stand down and remove restrictions? Will Vietnam government keep the block and prop up a local competitor? How will it affect other competitors such as WeChat or VK, arguably not ethical either?

We agree that "[Facebook] does not have its users best interests at heart". In the case of Facebook not compromising, what will happen to Facebook users in Vietnam? What action is more in their interests than Facebook is currently doing?

I agree with the same privacy principles as you do. For us, we have alternatives. I only invite you to think about the users who may not be so strict as us. Indeed, their mileage may vary. But is that something so light we can shrug off?

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thejessleigh profile image
jess unrein

Hey. I’m sorry. I’m not reading this. I thought I made it clear that I’m not really interested in debating with you in this venue and I’d appreciate it if you stop coming into my mentions. Every time someone expresses an opinion online it’s not an open invitation for argument or to be corrected. Thanks.