Facebook intensifies censorship ahead of congressional testimony by Zuckerberg


Facebook intensifies censorship ahead of congressional testimony by Zuckerberg

Andre Damon

9 April 2018

Ahead of scheduled congressional testimony by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook has announced a series of censorship measures that strike a blow against online anonymity and tighten the company’s grip on what users can say on its platform.

Zuckerberg announced Friday that the company will “require people who manage large pages to be verified,” meaning they will have to provide the company, and by extension the US government, with their real names and locations.

Zuckerberg declared that the measure “will make it much harder for people to run pages using fake accounts, or to grow virally and spread misinformation or divisive content.” In addition, the company will prohibit ad purchases by individuals whose identities have not been “verified.”

The move is a major step toward the fulfillment of the demand by the US intelligence agencies that social media companies end online anonymity, making it easier not only to track, but to arrest people for expressing oppositional political opinions.

Zuckerberg added that the move would involve the hiring of thousands of additional censors and “security” personnel. “In order to require verification for all of these pages and advertisers, we will hire thousands of more people,” he wrote.

Within hours of the announcement by Facebook on Friday, the company blocked an advertisement for a public meeting held by the Socialist Equality Party, which is affiliated with the World Socialist Web Site, entitled “No to war, inequality, and censorship,” on the grounds that it does not allow ads that contain “shocking, disrespectful, or sensational content.” Other ads related to the Oklahoma teachers strike were blocked…

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