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Facebook Censors Political Website, Crosses the Rubicon

Jun 21 2011, 5:46am CDT | by , in News | Technology News

Facebook Censors Political Website, Crosses the Rubicon

We'll be feeling the fallout from this one for a while.

Facebook has good deal of power over what you see on the Internet. Any group trying to rally grassroots political support relies utterly on the search engine's basic bipartisan nature. Facebook doesn't need the support of any party to do what they do. In theory, Zuckerberg and his cronies shouldn't care about anything but our sweet, sweet traffic.

Well it now appears Facebook may have a very real political agenda, one they are acting on in a very real way. Multiple reports now indicate that the search engine blocked all traffic to the site of j30strike.org, a grassroots political movement opposed to the austerity measures in England. For some time, users were forbidden to link the site on their page in any way.

It remains unclear which level the decision to censor the strike was made on. Mark Zuckerberg has a friendly relationship with David Cameron. But it is more likely that someone in a regional office made the call.

Facebook may have just been testing the waters. After an undetermined period of censorship, users may now again post the j30 strike website to their wall. As the picture above attests, Facebook also attempted to censor the first few bloggers who caught on to them. While those blogs are no longer blocked, the fact that they were, so quickly after going up points to a Facebok employee as the culprit, and not some offended user.

Facebook will undoubtedly make a statement about all this if enough of a stink gets raised, but by that point rage over the actual incident will largely have faded. What won't fade away is the precedent the social network has just established. Facebook is ready and willing to take sides on political issues. At least until enough people start yelling.

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