The Washington Post on October 25 reported that Zuckerberg personally signed a pledge with Vietnam’s authoritarian government to limit so-called “anti-state” posts.
Answering the BBC at the end of 2020 on this issue, Facebook admitted that it had to block content that was “requested by the Vietnamese government to delete” but let outsiders still see it.
At that time, a representative for Facebook, Ms. Amy Sawita Lefevre, Policy Communications Manager, admitted that the group “does not always agree with the Vietnamese government on issues such as the right to speak and express.”
Amy Sawita Lefevre told the BBC: “Millions of people in Vietnam use our services every day to connect with family and friends, and thousands of businesses rely on them to reach customers. Not all the times we are always on the same page as governments on issues like speech and expression, including in Vietnam, but we work hard to protect this right around the world.”
“Over the past few months, we have faced increased pressure from the Vietnamese government to restrict more content, however, we will do everything we can to ensure that our services we’re still active so people can continue to express themselves.”
According to BBC News Vietnamese, it is true that there have been cases where Facebook had to “restrict” Vietnamese content in Vietnam.
In April 2020, Facebook made the extremely difficult decision to restrict more content in Vietnam after it became clear that failure to do so would result in “the loss of our services as our platform would be completely shut down by the Vietnamese government.”
The company says it has always been transparent about its actions, and that such news is reported by international media.
In August 2019, VietnamNet posted the news “The Prime Minister has directed professional agencies to promote the exchange, requesting Facebook and Google to cooperate in preventing and removing false information that is contrary to the views of the Government. policy of the Party and State.”
In August 2018, Nhan Dan newspaper said Facebook “removed hundreds of accounts at the request of Vietnam” while Facebook told the BBC it “only removed content that violated our policies.”
What does the report of 17 US news agencies reveal?
Facebook recently announced that the company’s profits in the recent quarter rose to more than $9 billion – a 17% increase – and the number of Facebook users increased to 2.91 billion.
Facebook’s announcement came on October 25, just hours after a group of 17 US media companies released a series of reports showing that Facebook has prioritized growth over user safety.
Their newly released report is based on leaked internal Facebook documents, known as the Facebook Papers, obtained by whistleblower Frances Haugen.
Reports blame CEO Mark Zuckerberg for submitting to the Vietnamese government to censor dissenting voices on Facebook. Also note that Facebook allows the posting of hate speech around the world due to faulty algorithms, contributing to the promotion of malicious polarization online, according to the Bangkok Post.
It was Zuckerberg personally who decided that Facebook would bow to pressure from the Vietnamese government to censor dissenting voices, three sources told The Washington Post.
“These documents highlight that Facebook management routinely ignores dire internal warnings, choosing to put profits before people,” US Senator Richard Blumentha was quoted by the Bangkok Post as saying.
The New York Times, The Washington Post and Wired were among the news outlets that had access to a set of internal Facebook documents that Haugen initially disclosed to US authorities, and which were the basis of a series of articles on Wall Street Journal.
Facebook acknowledges this report as selective publication from some of its internal research, with the aim of misleading the social network used by billions of people.
Haugen, who testified on the social network before UK lawmakers on October 25, has repeatedly said that Facebook puts growth and profits above the health and safety of its users.
She told lawmakers that “Facebook is not willing to sacrifice even a small amount of profit for safety, and that is unacceptable,” and that angry or hateful content. “is the easiest way to grow” social media platform.
Frances Haugen: Facebook puts huge profits above people
Facebook has been hit by major crises before, but its current operating stance has prompted news outlets to conduct a series of scathing reports and investigations by US lawmakers.
A report from Politico reveals employees’ internal conversations about Facebook’s global domination.
Facebook has just recovered from other scandals like that involving Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting firm that used the personal data of millions of Facebook users for political advertising purposes.
Zuckerberg had to go to Washington to apologize, and Facebook agreed to a $5 billion settlement with US regulators.
Mark Zuckerberg ‘isolated’?
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has become more isolated within his own company, The Washington Post reported former employees said, as he grapples with growing criticism and setbacks from the Facebook Papers .
Former employees say that Zuckerberg primarily communicates decisions to an internal group called the “Small Team” and a slightly larger group of company leaders known as the “M-Team” or “Mark’s” Team“.
The Washington Post report outlines Zuckerberg’s management style based on interviews with former Facebook employees and information gleaned from the Facebook Papers. According to The Post, the company strictly controls information about Zuckerberg as well as the information he receives.
Facebook opposes Zuckerberg’s isolation, The Washington Post reported.
Former employees told The Washington Post that Zuckerberg wields enormous influence at the company, far beyond what is known to the general public.
In addition to dominating decision-making at the top, Zuckerberg still seems to have time to micromanage. The Washington Post reported that two sources say he personally designed the color scheme and layout for Facebook’s “I’m Vaccinated” frame that users can use.