Will The Chinese Version Of Facebook Block Free Speech?

We spoke recently about the prospect of Facebook coming to China but in a different form. However with China’s strict rules on censorship, it begs the question whether “free speech” will be blocked altogether.

Some reports are saying that China’s version of Google, Baidu has made a deal with Facebook already to make a new social network for Asia. If this does go ahead it will be a disconnected version to ours, with stricter rules. T3 has reported that Adam Conner, a 25-year-old junior lobbyist for the company has said, “Too much free speech is a barrier to the social network’s entry into emergent markets.”

Conner went on to say, “Maybe we will block content in some countries, but not others.” China has already blocked nationals from using Facebook, as they fear that uprisings similar to those in the Libya will occur. The Chinese government has already angered citizens by blocking Gmail and trying to cover it up by putting Google at fault.

More fuel has been added to the Chinese Facebook fire, as Mark Zuckerberg travelled to China earlier this year to meet with Baidu’s CEO Robin Li. Rumours also materialised from a series of tweets from Hu Yanping, the founder of the Data Centre of the China Internet more commonly known as DCCI. According to Yanping, Facebook has already signed an official contract to create said social network in China. If there is no free speech allowed on social networks, are they even worth having?