Facebook thinks there is too much free speech in the world

Social networking outfit Facebook is starting to think that giving free speech to countries which are not used to it is a bad idea.

The outfit’s Washington lobbyist said that Facebook could block content in some countries because there has been “too much, maybe, free speech”.

Adam Conner told the Wall Street Journal that Facebook is occasionally held in uncomfortable positions because “now we’re allowing too much, maybe, free speech in countries that haven’t experienced it before.”

The comments have followed uprisings in the Middle East, especially after Egypt blocked social media sites.

It seems that rather than being happy in its role in removing autocratic regimes, Facebook is worried that its free speech policy might be locking it out of the lucrative Chinese market.

Facebook is blocked in China, but it was reported this month that it has held talks with potential partners about entering the market.

To do this, it would have to obey China’s extensive internet censorship system and renounce all this free speech talk. It would be legally required to hand user data to Chinese authorities.

Conner’s comments seem to suggest that Facebook would do this in a heartbeat.

Debbie Frost, Facebook’s director of international communications, told the WSJ that Facebook was studying and learning about China but has made no decisions about if, or how, it will approach it.