On the back of Facebook lobbyist Adam Conner’s unwise suggestion about allowing “too much” free speech in certain countries, despite the good it has done to unseat abusive regimes, rights campaigners at Demand Progress are warning it not to leapfrog China’s Great Firewall.
Demand Progress, a civil liberty advocacy group co-founded by Reddit man Aaron Swartz, has made public an open petition directed at Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. The idea is that Facebook does not respect civil liberties and is more keen to turn a profit.
Facebook has recently had its representatives attempting to butter up officials and businessman in China, including gigantic search outfit Baidu, about introducing an alternative and censored social not-work to the country.
The visit follows Zuckerberg’s earlier trip to China, though spokespeople insist that it was business, not pleasure. China has recently said it wants to crack down on the free flow of information found about various social networks as it fears an escalation to the so-called Jasmine Revolution, which sounds like an exciting tea but is actually a call for social change and improved human rights. Protests have been organised online.
Demand Progress’ letter is short and sweet. It reads: “PETITION TO MARK ZUCKERBERG AND THE FACEBOOK TEAM: Your callous disregard for free speec and human rights is completely unacceptable. Partnership with censors in China or anywhere else is counterproductive, bad for business, and just plain wrong.”
There’s a box you can sign on the website here – including the option to “Autofill using Facebook”.
It promises it’ll “make sure Facebook gets the message.”