A few weeks ago, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg posted a message in support of the free speech rights of the Charlie Hebdo staff:
… as I reflect on yesterday’s attack and my own experience with extremism, this is what we all need to reject — a group of extremists trying to silence the voices and opinions of everyone else around the world.
I won’t let that happen on Facebook. I’m committed to building a service where you can speak freely without fear of violence.
My thoughts are with the victims, their families, the people of France and the people all over the world who choose to share their views and ideas, even when that takes courage. #JeSuisCharlie
That’s why it’s incredibly disappointing that Facebook has now decided to censor all images of Muhammad in Turkey, where such depictions are forbidden. There are legal and financial reason to comply with the request, but that still doesn’t make it ethically right — and it makes Zuckerberg’s statement look incredibly hypocritical since the decision means Turkey’s 40 million Facebook users can’t see or share those controversial Charlie Hebdo covers on the site.
But why bother defending one’s principles when there’s cash to be made, right?
Let’s hope Facebook users there find a workaround to the Muhammad ban. Because if those images can be censored, then others are sure to follow.
(Thanks to David for the link)